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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6348569, 17 pages
Research Article

Thermal Stability of Cryomilled Al-Mg-Er Powders

1Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 0C5
2Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Laval University, Quebec City, QC, Canada G1V 0A6

Correspondence should be addressed to Bamidele Akinrinlola

Received 4 May 2017; Accepted 17 August 2017; Published 28 September 2017

Academic Editor: Victor M. Castaño

Copyright © 2017 Bamidele Akinrinlola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this study, the thermal stability of nanostructured Al-Mg alloy powders was investigated. Two alloy compositions, Al-5Mg-0.1Er and Al-5Mg-0.5Er (wt.%), were cryogenically milled for 30 h to produce nanostructured powders. The microstructure of the milled powders with increasing temperature was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) with one-hour annealing performed at selected temperatures followed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and electron microscopy analysis. Prolonged milling led to significant oxygen pick-up in the powders. The Al-5Mg-0.1Er powders experienced grain growth typical of cryomilled Al-Mg powders, while the Al-5Mg-0.5Er alloy showed improved thermal stability. An average grain size of ~20 nm was observed up to 400°C (~0.8) in the Al-5Mg-0.5Er powders, and abnormal growth at 550°C resulted in a maximum observed grain size of 234 nm. Thermal stability in the Al-Mg-Er powders is attributed to the combined effects of solute/impurity drag and second-phase pinning (nanoscale oxides, nitrides, and oxynitrides) that impede grain boundary motion.