The grain boundary wetting phase transition in an industrial EZ33A cast alloy is studied. 12% of the grain boundaries are completely wetted at the temperature slightly higher than the eutectic transformation temperature (530°C). The fraction of wetted grain boundaries increases with temperature, reaches a maximum of 85% at 570°C, and does not change further until the alloy melts. In the as-cast state, the alloy has low ductile properties at the ambient temperature. The microstructure in the as-cast state corresponds to the wetting state at about 560°C, which indicates that the cooling rate in casting is almost equal to that in quenching. The volume and the surface fraction of the second phase and the hardness measured at the least wetted state of samples point to its good machinability. The wetting data are used to suggest a sequence of heat treatment and machining for processing EZ33A alloy parts.
We investigated the effect of pre-sintering process on the penetration behavior of Dy in a NdFeB sintered magnet which was grain boundary diffusion treated with Cu/Al mixed Dy source. The pre-sintering of a magnet was performed at 900oC in vacuum and then the pre-sintered body was dipped in the solutions of DyH2, DyH2 + Cu, and DyH2 + Al, respectively. The dipped pre-sintered body were then fully sintered 4 hours at 1060oC followed by a subsequent annealing. The pre-sintering apparently improved the diffusivity of Dy atoms. The penetration of Dy into the magnet extended almost to 2,000 μm from the surface, about four times deeper than that of the normally sintered and diffusion treated one, when the DyH2 + Al solution was used as a Dy source. However, the resulting increase of coercivity was about 4 kOe, somewhat lower than that of the normally treated one, mostly due to excessive oxide formation that hindered to make a continuous Nd-rich grain boundary phase and a core-shell type structure.