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Acta Metall Sin  2019, Vol. 55 Issue (10): 1231-1242    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2019.00049
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Research Progress in Age-Hardenable Mg-Sn Based Alloys
SHI Zhangzhi1,2(),ZHANG Min3,HUANG Xuefei4,LIU Xuefeng1,2,5,ZHANG Wenzheng6
1. School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
2. Beijing Laboratory of Metallic Materials and Processing for Modern Transportation, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
3. School of Mechanical, Electronic and Control Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
4. College of Materials Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
5. Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing of Ministry of Education, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
6. Key Laboratory of Advanced Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Mg-Sn based alloy system is a typical age-hardenable Mg alloy system with Mg2Sn as the major precipitation phase. Eutectic temperature at Mg-rich end of Mg-Sn phase diagram is much higher than those of Mg-Al and Mg-Zn phase diagrams, which is comparable to that of Mg-RE phase diagram. So Mg-Sn based alloys are hopeful candidates of rare-earth free heat resistant Mg alloys with low cost. This paper systematically reviews research progress in age-hardenable Mg-Sn based alloys. The main second phase β-Mg2Sn has a fcc structure with different lattice parameters reported, one of which the most frequently adopted is aβ≈0.676 nm, agreeing well with calculations of interfacial orientations. Twelve orientation relationships (ORs) between Mg2Sn precipitates and Mg matrix have been identified. Those with similar morphologies, i.e., the same long axis direction or the same habit plane, are possibly related to different ORs. Addition of Zn benefits the appearance of β-Mg2Sn precipitates inclined to the Mg basal plane, which are more effective to hinder dislocation movement on the basal plane and result in a greater strengthening effect. Effects of various alloying elements on age-hardening response and mechanical properties of Mg-Sn binary alloys have been summarized. Elements such as Zn, Al, Ag and Na can enhance age-hardening responses. Due to formation of highly thermal stable compounds with Sn, RE, Ca, Sr and Li exhibit negative effects. Consequently, alloy design of Mg-Sn based alloys faces more difficulties, requiring an in-depth investigation of phase transformation processes. Finally, future research directions have been specified.

Key words:  Mg alloy      age-hardenable      alloy design      solid-state phase transformation     
Received:  25 February 2019     
ZTFLH:  TG146.22  
Fund: Foundation:National Natural Science Foundation of China(51601010)
Corresponding Authors:  Zhangzhi SHI     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

SHI Zhangzhi, ZHANG Min, HUANG Xuefei, LIU Xuefeng, ZHANG Wenzheng. Research Progress in Age-Hardenable Mg-Sn Based Alloys. Acta Metall Sin, 2019, 55(10): 1231-1242.

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Fig.1  Schematics of crystal structure of Mg2Sn
1{110}β//(0001)α, <001>β//<112ˉ0>α,Basal lath, long axis //<112ˉ0>α[24]
2{110}β//{0001}α, <11ˉ1>β//<112ˉ0>α,Basal lath, long axis about 3.0°[18] or
<11ˉ2ˉ>β//<1ˉ100>α10.2°[25] away from <1ˉ100>α
3{111}β//{0001}α, <11ˉ0>β//<112ˉ0>α,(I) Basal faceted plate, side facets //{112ˉ}β//{1ˉ100}α;
<112ˉ>β//<1ˉ100>α(II) Faceted particle, F1//{111}β//(0001)α,
F2//{113ˉ}β, F3//{115}β[23]; (III) Basal lath[26]
4{111}β//{0001}α, <112ˉ>β//<112ˉ0>α,(I) Basal lath; (II) Faceted particle[24]
5{111}β//{0001}α,Basal faceted plate, side facets //
<11ˉ0>β about -9.2° from <2ˉ110>α{7.05, 7.45ˉ, 0.40}β//{3.16ˉ, 2.16, 1, 0}α[27]
6{110}β//{0001}α, <11ˉ0>β//<112ˉ0>α,Basal lath, long axis //<112ˉ0>α[28]
7{110}β//{0001}α, <1ˉ12>β//<112ˉ0>α,

Basal lath, long axis //<112ˉ0>α[28]

8<011>β//<011ˉ0>α,Inclined lath, when OR angle is 0.39°,
{011ˉ}β about 0.36°~1.20°F1 (i.e., HP) //{011}β//{011ˉ0}α,
from {0001}α OR angle ofF2//{1, 9.1, 9.1ˉ}β//{2, 1ˉ, 1ˉ, 38.3ˉ}α
0.39° appears most frequently(Major side facet, 4.7° from the basal plane)[29]
9<011>β//<011ˉ0>α,Inclined lath, long axis about 39° from the basal plane,
{100}β about -15.6° from {0001}αF1//{111ˉ}β//{21ˉ1ˉ4}α,
RM: g{111ˉ}β//g{21ˉ1ˉ4}α,F2//{31ˉ1}β//{2ˉ114}α, F3//{100}β//{2ˉ, 1, 1, 12}α,
<011>β//<011ˉ0>αF4//{13ˉ3}β//{30ˉ, 15, 15, 2ˉ}α[17]
10<01ˉ1ˉ>β//<011ˉ0>α,Inclined lath, long axis about 39° from the basal plane,
{100}β about 4.0° from {2ˉ110}αF1//{1ˉ1ˉ1}β//{21ˉ1ˉ4}α,
RM, twin OR with respect to OR9F2//{11ˉ1}β//{2ˉ115}α, F3//{100}β//{18ˉ, 9, 9, 2}α[17]
11<011>β//<21ˉ1ˉ0>α,Inclined lath, long axis 79.6° from the basal plane,
{11ˉ1}β about -15.4° from {0001}αF1//{533ˉ}β//{03ˉ31}α,
RM: g{533ˉ}β//g{03ˉ31}αF2//{011ˉ}β//{02ˉ23ˉ}α[14,16]
12<011>β//<21ˉ1ˉ0>α,Inclined faceted plate, F1//{511ˉ}β//{011ˉ4}α,
{111ˉ}β about 13.7° from {0001}αwhich is 26.0° from the basal plane,
RM: g{511ˉ}β//g{011ˉ4}αF2 and F3 are 46.8° and 75.3° from the basal plane,
Table 1  Orientation relationships (ORs) between β-Mg2Sn precipitates and α-Mg matrix, and morphologies of β-Mg2Sn precipitates (An anti-clockwise rotation of β-lattice with respect to α-lattice is positive, and vice versa. The habit plane (HP) of basal laths or plates is parallel to (0001)α, i.e., the basal plane of hcp Mg. RM refers to row matching, F denotes facet of precipitate, i.e., sharp flat interface between precipitate and matrix)[14,16,17,18,23,24,25,26,27,28,29]
Fig.2  An example of Δg parallelism and row matching in Mg/Mg2Sn solid-state phase transformation system
Fig.3  Explaining morphologies of different precipitates and their related ORs in Mg alloys through secondary coincidence site lattice (CCSL-II) model
Fig.4  OR11 type Mg2Sn precipitate with row matching either in reciprocal or in real spaces[16]
Fig.5  Effects of alloying elements on mechanical properties of Mg-Sn based alloys with data collected from Refs.[15,22,26,43,45~77] (T—Sn, A—Al, Z—Zn, Q—Ag, X—Ca, M—Mn, S—Si) (a) when ageing at 200 ℃, ageing peak time vs peak hardness
EffectMechanismAlloying element

Promote nucleation of Mg2Sn

Refine Mg2Sn

Promote inclined Mg2Sn morphology

Form precipitates other than Mg2Sn

Na, Zn, Ag, Hf, In+Li

Zn, Al, Cu


Zn, Ag, Al, Mn

NegativeDecrease volume fraction of Mg2SnRE, Ca, Sr, Li
NegligibleForm thermally stable Sn-free phase difficult to be soluted in Mg matrixSi, Sb
UncertainForm Sn-containing phase yet not sure whether can be soluted in Mg matrix or notBa, Sc
Table 2  Effects of alloying elements on age-hardening responses of Mg-Sn based alloys
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