ABSTRACT The aim of this work is the mechanical and microstructural characterization by optical and electron microscopy as well as microhardness of Al 6063 alloy after mechanical and thermal treatment. Al-Mg based alloys have special attention due to the lightness of the material and certain mechanical properties and recyclability. Such alloys produce good mechanical properties in moderate mechanical efforts (up to 700 MPa) and good resistance to the corrosion. Cold rolling steps (30%, 60% and 90% in area reduction) in Al 6063 alloy were employed for the recrystallization studies, followed by thermal treatment using four isothermal heating (423K, 523K, 623K and 723K) during 1800, 3600, 5400 and 7200s. The direct observation and chemical microanalysis were made in a JEOL200C and JEOL2010 transmission electron microscopes combined with mechanical characterization utilizing Vickers microhardness measurements. Normally classified as non-heat-treatable these alloys obtain higher strength either by strain-hardening or by solid solution. The nucleation of new grains is a non stability of the deformed microstructure, depending on subgrain size heterogeneities present as potential embryos in the deformed state adjacent to high local misorientation. The results indicate a significant effect of second-phase particles on recrystallization and how to control the resulting microstructure and texture by the use of particles. It may be a preferential growth in the early stage due to their local environment or a selection of certain orientations from among those produced by particles stimulated nucleation or a preferential nucleation at particles in favored sites such as grain boundaries.
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