Contemporary materials engineering requires the use of materials characterised by high mechanical properties, as these precisely properties determine the choice of material for parts of machinery and equipment. Owing to these properties it is possible to reduce the weight and, consequently, the consumption of both material and energy. Trying to meet these expectations, the designers are increasingly looking for solutions in the application of magnesium alloys as materials offering a very beneficial strength-to-weight ratio. However, besides alloying elements, the properties are to a great extent shaped by the solidification conditions and related structure. The process of structure formation depends on the choice of casting method forced by the specific properties of casting or by the specific intended use of final product. The article presents a comparison of AZ91 magnesium alloys processed by different casting technologies. A short characteristic was offered for materials processed by the traditional semi-continuous casting process, which uses the solidification rates comprised in a range of 5 - 20⁰C/s, and for materials made in the process of Rapid Solidification, where the solidification rate can reach 106 ⁰C/s. As a result of the casting process, a feedstock in the form of billets and thin strips was obtained and was subjected next to the process of plastic forming. The article presents the results of structural analysis of the final product. The mechanical properties of the ø7 mm extruded rods were also evaluated and compared.
In the aluminium alloy family, Al-Zn materials with non-standard chemical composition containing Mg and Cu are a new group of alloys, mainly owing to their high strength properties. Proper choice of alloying elements, and of the method of molten metal treatment and casting enable further shaping of the properties. One of the modern methods to produce materials with submicron structure is a method of Rapid Solidification. The ribbon cast in a melt spinning device is an intermediate product for further plastic working. Using the technique of Rapid Solidification it is not possible to directly produce a solid structural material of the required shape and length. Therefore, the ribbon of an ultrafine grain or nanometric structure must be subjected to the operations of fragmentation, compaction, consolidation and hot extrusion. In this article the authors focussed their attention on the technological aspect of the above mentioned process and described successive stages of the fabrication of an AlZn9Mg2.5Cu1.8 alloy of ultrafine grain structure designated for further plastic working, which enables making extruded rods or elements shaped by the die forging technology. Studies described in the article were performed under variable parameters determined experimentally in the course of the alloy manufacturing process, including casting by RS and subsequent fragmentation.