The fatigue properties of pressure diecast zinc-aluminium based alloys

  • Kameel Sawalha

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The fatigue behaviour of the cold chamber pressure-die-cast alloys: Mazak3, ZA8, ZA27, M3K, ZA8K, ZA27K, K1, K2 and K3 was investigated at temperature of 20°C. The alloys M3K, ZA8K and ZA27K were also examined at temperatures of 50 and 100°C. The ratio between fatigue strength and tensile strength was established at 20°C at 107 cycles. The fatigue life prediction of the alloys M3K, ZA8K and ZA27K was formulated at 20, 50 and 100°C. The prediction formulae were found to be reasonably accurate. All of the experimental alloys were heterogeneous and contained large but varying amounts of pores. These pores were a major contribution and dominated the alloys fatigue failure. Their effect, however, on tensile failure was negligible. The ZA27K possessed the highest tensile strength but the lowest fatigue strength. The relationship between the fracture topography and the microstructure was also determined by the use of a mixed signal of a secondary electron and a back-scattered electron on the SEM. The tensile strength of the experimental alloys was directly proportional to the aluminium content within the alloys. The effect of copper content was also investigated within the alloys K1, K2, ZA8K and K3 which contained 0%, 0.5%, 1.0% and 2.0% respectively. It was determined that the fatigue and tensile strengths improved with higher copper contents. Upon ageing the alloys Mazak3, ZA8 and ZA27 at an ambient temperature for 5 years, copper was also found to influence and maintain the metastable Zn-Al (αm) phase. The copper free Mazak3 upon ageing lost this metastable phase. The 1.0% copper ZA8 alloy had lost almost 50% of its metastable phase. Finally the 2.0% copper ZA27 had merely lost 10% of its metastable phase. The cph zinc contained a limited number of slip systems, therefore twinning deformation was unavoidable in both fatigue and tensile testing.

Date of AwardMay 1991
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorS. Murphy (Supervisor)


  • fatigue
  • metallography
  • fractography
  • pressure die-casting
  • zinc-aluminium alloys

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