Dispersoid Composition in Zirconium Containing Al-Zn-Mg-Cu (AA7010) Aluminium Alloy

Alexander Cassell, Joseph Robson, Christopher Race, Alexander Eggeman, Teruo Hashimoto, M. Besel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zirconium (Zr) is used in modern aluminum alloys to form dispersoids that
control grain structure. The interaction of these dispersoids with the alloying
elements used to strengthen aluminum remains poorly understood.
We have used high resolution imaging and composition analysis via electron
microscopy to study the Zr-rich dispersoids in AA7010, a commercial
Al-Zn-Mg-Cu alloy, addressing this knowledge gap.
We show that the dispersoids are not of the ideal Al3Zr stoichiometry,
and contain Zn up to approximately 15 at%. Copper also concentrates in
the dispersoids up to approximately 6 at%. Atomistic simulation was used
to predict the partitioning, demonstrating favourable substitution of Zn and
Cu onto the Al sublattice in the dispersoid phase, consistent with the measurements. We have also observed larger, facetted dispersoids, which are not of a phase observed in the binary Al{Zr system. Instead, we have found
a previously unreported dispersoid structure (tI10 Ni4Mo structure type),
which we propose is stabilized by the presence of Zn.
We have calculated the total loss in Zn and Cu due to partitioning into the
dispersoids. We show this is too small to directly have a detrimental eect on
age hardening, but may have a secondary eect in promoting heterogeneous
nucleation for undesirable quench induced precipitation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalActa Mater.
Early online date13 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2019


  • Aluminum alloys
  • Dispersoids
  • Microstructure

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Dalton Nuclear Institute


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