Grain refinement of Al–Zn–Mg alloy during equal channel angular pressing (ECAP)

Oryina Mbaadega Injor, Oluyemi Ojo Daramola, Benjamin Omotayo Adewuyi, Adeolu Adesoji Adediran, Munyadziwa Mercy Ramakokovhu, Rotimi Emmanuel Sadiku, Esther Titilayo Akinlabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Locally produced Al–Zn–Mg alloy was subjected to severe plastic deformation through Equal Channel Angular Pressing (ECAP) technique at temperatures of 150 °C and 200 °C. Rectangular thick-walled medium carbon steel die (σc = 450Mpa, σy = 176Mpa) with an L-shaped channel of uniform configuration to provide the pressing chamber was used. Four ECAP passes were imposed consecutively on set of samples for 150 °C and 200 °C temperatures, and characterized with optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). The phases were identified by X-ray diffraction (XRD) using monochromatic Cu Kα radiation, while vickers’ microhardness and tensile tests were performed for mechanical properties examination. Optical micrographs showed no tangible precipitation in the as cast samples with reduced grain width and deformation bands but at high temperatures of 150 °C and 200 °C, precipitation was promoted as a result of slipping systems activation. SEM images of the as-cast alloy exhibits dendrites of 250 ± 20 μm in size with η′ phase (MgZn2) precipitates in the inter-dendritic regions. For 150 °C ECAP temperature, a significant refinement was achieved as the passes increased with sub-grain development within the boundary and the precipitate observed has a grain size of 35 ± 15 μm, 25 ± 10 μm, 15 ± 8 μm and 8 ± 6 μm for first, second, third and fourth passes respectively. However, grain sizes of 85 ± 15 μm, 50 ± 10 μm, 30 ± 8 μm and 10 ± 5 μm for first, second, third and fourth passes were observed for 200 °C ECAP temperature. XRD results showed peaks for aluminum and other phases in as-cast condition with precipitates growth in the alloy after the first pass, identified as metastable η′ phase. As the number of ECAP passes increases, η′ peaks moved towards the equilibrium η phase confirming the transformation of η′ phase to stable η phase. The microhardness, Ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and the yield strength of Al–Zn–Mg alloy in different conditions of 150 °C and 200 °C respectively also increased with increase in the number of ECAP passes. This is due to increase in dislocation density, work hardening and grain refinement during ECAP process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100739
JournalResults in Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aluminum alloy
  • Equal channel angular pressing
  • Severe plastic deformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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