Previous research has been carried out in single crystals of dilute (up to 1 at%) zinc and aluminium alloys, with a number of models suggested to describe the behaviour. This research intends to determine whether the relationship holds for polycrystals of concentrated zinc alloys, with contents up to 3 at%. It is known that zinc increases the critical resolved shear stress of the basal planes, improving the proof stress, whilst they also produce solid solution softening on the prismatic planes, producing alloys which are more ductile than pure magnesium.
Zinc additions increase hardness and strength of magnesium alloys, so it is the intent to quantify the effect of zinc on the performance of the alloy. Grain refined castings have been made with additions ranging from 0.3-3at%.
Zinc has shown a stronger strengthening (on the basal plane) than can be explained by Fleischer and Labusch’s theories in comparison with previous work with aluminium. The effect is believed to be caused by short range order strengthening.