Effect of Ultrasonic Shot Peening on Mechanical Properties and Corrosion Resistance of MG Alloy Sheet

2019-06-10T19:34:49Z (GMT) by Jianyue Zhang
Magnesium alloys are regarded as the most promising structure materials in transportation and aerospace fields because of their low densities and high specific strengths. However, the unsatisfactory mechanical performance and corrosion resistance restrict their applications. Grain refinement is an effective way to improve the mechanical properties and widen the applications. Among which, ultrasonic shot peening shows a great potential in producing refined grains or even nanocrystalline. A nanocrystalline forms at the surface after ultrasonic shot peening treatment. The formed nanocrystalline has been proved to dramatically affect the mechanical properties, such as hardness, mechanical stress, wear resistance and fatigue life.

In this dissertation, the microstructure evolution of AZ31 Mg alloy after the ultrasonic shot peening as well as its effect on the mechanical properties are investigated. The grain size, the twin structure, the surface roughness and the residual stress distribution after ultrasonic shot peening are characterized. A gradient nanostructure is achieved through ultrasonic shot peening and the thickness of this gradient nanostructure increases with prolonging the treated time. The grains at the top surface after 5 min treatment is refined to 45 nm and further refined to 42 nm for 10 min and 37nm for 15 min treatment from the XRD result. A lamellar nanocrystaline is below the top surface and a lot of tensile twins are found at the heavily deformed grains below the nanocrystalline layer. Below the twinned layer, a residual stress is distributed as deep as 400 $\mu$m in the matrix. A rough surface is obtained and the surface roughness of the 5 min treated sample was 5.934 $\mu$m, increased to 6.161 $\mu$m for10 min and 6.236 $\mu$m for 15 min. The nanocrystalline leads to the improvement of the microhardness, from 65 HV of the as-received to 123 HV, 127 HV and 145 HV for 5 min, 10 min and 15 min treatment, respectively. The tensile stress and compression stress are also improved remarkably. The yield stress is increased from 127.7 MPa of as-received to 198 MPa of 10 min treated sample and the compression stress is improved from 73 MPa to 100 MPa. The improved yield stress is attributed to the grain refinement and the work hardening of the nanocrystalline.

The wear resistance of AZ31 Mg alloy is improved greatly after ultrasonic shot peening process. The coefficient of friction and the wear rate of the ultrasonic shot peening treated sample are both lower than that of as-received. The width of the wear track of ultrasonic shot peening treated is also narrower than that of as-received, and the worn surface has a lower surface roughness. In as-received samples, abrasion and oxidation dominate the wear mechanism at low sliding speed and low applied load. The increase of sliding speed or applied load resulted in the delamination. Severe wear such as thermal softening happens with the further increase of load value or sliding speed. In ultrasonic shot peening treated samples, oxidation, the abrasion and delamination are also existing while no severe wear is found. The improved wear resistance of the ultrasonic shot peened sample is due to the improved hardness and a higher activity of oxidation during wear process. The nanocrystalline on the top surface leads to the the transition boundary between the mild wear and severe wear to a higher sliding speed and higher applied load.


The corrosion resistance of AZ31 Mg alloy before and after ultrasonic shot peening is tested in 3.5 $\%$ NaCl solution. The corrosion resistance after ultrasonic shot peening is reduced greatly because of the Fe particles at the top surface, which was exfoliated from the shot during the treating process. After a 40 $\mu$m thick polishing, Fe particles are removed totally and the corrosion resistance is improved, compared with that of as-received. The anodic current density of the nanocrystallized surface after polishing is reduced because of the compression residual stress and a rapid formation of protective layer. Meanwhile, the grain boundary acts as a physical barrier for corrosion and reduces the corrosion rate.


The bending behavior of AZ31 Mg alloy before and after ultrasonic shot peening is studied by a V-bending test. The ultrasonic shot peening treated sample has a similar bending performance even though the ductility has been reduced after ultrasonic shot peening. A single side ultrasonic shot peening (either at the inner side or the outer side) changed the bending behavior because of its asymmetric structure. The ultrasonic shot peening at the inner side for 5 min improves the bendability and longer treated, such as 10 min and 15 min degenerates the bendability to as-received. The improved bendability of 5 min treated sample is due to the drawing back of the neutral layer. The ultrasonic shot peening at the outer side for 5 min also improves the bending performance and a longer treatment of 15 min further enhanced the bendability. The improved bendability after outer side treatment is due to the high yield stress of nanocrystalline at the convex, resulting in the smaller strain here.