Precipitation sequence in Al-Sc-Zr alloys revisited

T. Dorin, S. Babaniaris, L. Jiang, A. Cassel, A. Eggeman, J. Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sc and Zr additions to Al provide significant strengthening through the formation of Al3(Sc,Zr) L12 dispersoids. Fe impurities are always present in commercial Al alloys and the effect of these impurities on precipitation mechanisms in Al-Sc-Zr alloys remain poorly understood. This is particularly relevant when considering recycled aluminium as recycling results in the build-up of impurities. We used a combination of resistivity and thermo-electric power (TEP) measurements to monitor the evolution of solid solution during ageing of an Al-Sc, Al-Zr and Al-Sc-Zr alloy. Sc first comes out of solution to form Al3Sc dispersoids, followed by Zr to form Al3Zr. A range of Al3Sc-core/Al3Zr-shell faceted morphologies were observed with high angular annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM). The presence of a new class of Fe-rich plate-like precipitates in the {100}Al was revealed via HAADF-STEM. The ordered positions of the precipitate and matrix reflections in the selected area diffraction pattern and in high-resolution TEM images reveal that these precipitates display a multi-layered structure. The centre of the plates is pseudo-icosahedral with apparent five-fold symmetry, and is rich in Fe. The outside layer has a L12 structure and is rich in Sc and Zr. The layered structure allows complete coherency with the aluminium matrix. These precipitates are highly anisotropic with a thickness of 5-10 nm and a length up to ∼1000 nm. This is the first report of the formation of this type of coherent pseudo-icosahedral precipitates in isothermal conditions which is named the D-phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101608
Early online date22 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Aluminium
  • L1
  • Precipitation
  • Scandium
  • TEP


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