AZ91 alloy is a widely applied commercial magnesium alloy due to its good castability, balanced mechanical properties and acceptable price, and lanthanum alloying has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to further improve its mechanical properties. Therefore, we reveal the evolution of microstructure, mechanical properties and fracture behavior with increasing lanthanum content in AZ91 alloy in this study. The magnesium matrix was significantly refined by lanthanum content, and this effect became more evident with increasing addition of lanthanum. The presence of Al3La precipitates significantly reduced the grain mobility and suppressed the formation of Mg17Al12 discontinuous precipitates along the grain boundaries. The rheo-cast alloys exhibited improved and balanced tensile strength and ductility after aging treatment. The fracture type of AZ91-La alloys could be classified as ductile fracture due to the presence of less quasi-cleavage planes and more dimples with a mixture of tear ridges and micropores. Due to the fully refined microstructure and the balanced mechanical properties, the AZ91–1.0La (mass%) alloy presented the greatest potential for industrial applications among the three studied AZ91-La alloys.
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