Alloyed layers enriched with Zn and Al were fabricated on an Mg substrate using the powder-pack method. The Mg specimens were first immersed in Zn+Al powder mixtures serving as the source of diffusion elements and then heated at 440 °C for 60 min. The experimental results revealed that the microstructure of the alloyed layers was dependent on the composition of the powder mixture. The layer produced from a mixture containing 60 % of Zn had a structure composed of an Mg17(Al,Zn)12 intermetallic phase, a solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg and a eutectic (Mg5Al2Zn2 intermetallic phase + solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg). When a mixture with a higher content of Zn (80 %) was used, the layer had a structure composed of coarser eutectic areas (Mg5Al2Zn2 intermetallic phase + solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg) and fine-structured eutectoid areas (MgZn intermetallic phase + solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg). The layers containing intermetallic phases were characterized by high microhardness. The microhardness of the layers was five times higher than that of the Mg substrate.Keywords: magnesium, thermochemical treatment, intermetallic phases, microstructure, microhardness
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