The study involved using the liquid-solid compound casting process to fabricate a lightweight ZE41/AlSi12 bimetallic material. ZE41 melt heated to 660 oC was poured onto a solid AlSi12 insert placed in a steel mold. The mold with the insert inside was preheated to 300 oC. The microstructure of the bonding zone between the alloys was examined using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The chemical composition was determined through linear and point analyses with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscope (EDS). The bonding zone between the magnesium and aluminum alloys was about 250 μm thick. The results indicate that the microstructure of the bonding zone changes throughout its thickness. The structural constituents of the bonding zone are: a thin layer of a solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg and particles of Mg-Zn-RE intermetallic phases (adjacent to the ZE41 alloy), a eutectic region (Mg17(Al,Zn)12 intermetallic phase and a solid solution of Al and Zn in Mg), a thin region containing fine, white particles, probably Al-RE intermetallic phases, a region with Mg2Si particles distributed over the eutectic matrix, and a region with Mg2Si particles distributed over the Mg-Al intermetallic phases matrix (adjacent to the AlSi12 alloy). The microstructural analysis performed in the length direction reveals that, for the process parameters tested, the bonding zone forming between the alloys was continuous. Low porosity was observed locally near the ZE41 alloy. The shear strength of the AZ91/AlSi17 joint varied from 51.3 to 56.1 MPa.
Bimetallic AZ91/AlSi17 samples were produced by compound casting. The casting process involved pouring the AZ91 magnesium alloy heated to 650oC onto a solid AlSi17 aluminum alloy insert placed in a steel mould. Prior to casting, the mould with the insert inside was heated to about 370oC. The bonding zone formed between AZ91 and AlSi17 had a thickness of about 200 μm; it was characterized by a non-homogeneous microstructure. Two different areas were distinguished in this zone: the area adjacent to the AZ91 and the area close to the AlSi17. In the area closest to the AZ91 alloy, a eutectic composed of an Mg17Al12 intermetallic phase and a solid solution of Al in Mg was observed. In bonding zone at a certain distance from the AZ91 alloy an Mg2Si phase co-occurred with the eutectic. In the area adjacent to the AlSi17 alloy, the structure consisted of Al3Mg2, Mg17Al12 and Mg2Si. The fine Mg2Si phase particles were distributed over the entire Mg-Al intermetallic phase matrix. The microhardness of the bonding zone was much higher than those of the materials joined; the microhardness values were in the range 203-298 HV. The shear strength of the AZ91/AlSi17 joint varied from 32.5 to 36 MPa.