A surface layer enriched with zinc was formed on magnesium by heating specimens painted with a paste containing ZnCl2+KCl at 440 °C for 120 min using no protective atmosphere. The study focused on the microstructure, phase constitution and microhardness of the alloyed layer. The layer, which was about 200 µm in thickness, had a microstructure composed of a eutectoid mixture (an MgZn intermetallic phase + a solid solution of zinc in magnesium) and some dendrites (a solid solution of zinc in magnesium). At the interface between the alloyed layer and the magnesium substrate, there was a zone of a solid solution of zinc in magnesium. The thermochemical process increased the hardness of the specimens at the surface from 30 HV 0.1 (Mg) to 110-164 HV 0.1 (the layer containing the MgZn intermetallic phase).Keywords: magnesium, zinc layer, zinc chloride
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