Skip to main content

Mechanical and microstructural characterization of magnesium single crystals

  • Pravahan Salunke (a1), Vibhor Chaswal (a1), Guangqi Zhang (a1), Svitlana Fialkova (a2), Sergei Yarmolenko (a2) and Vesselin Shanov (a3)...

This study describes results from mechanical tests conducted on magnesium single crystals in comparison with polycrystalline magnesium. It was found by impact testing that the magnesium single crystal is highly ductile due to energy absorption by twinning and slip, while the polycrystalline samples fracture easily upon impact. Compressive testing along two orthogonal directions at low plastic strains was also performed. The microstructure studies by electron backscatter diffraction and XRD pole figure analysis revealed profuse ( $10\overline12$ ) twinning when compression is done along the growth plane (72 16 $\overline {88}$ 62). The twinning and interaction between different twin modes resulted in incipient recrystallization at strains as low as 8% at room temperature. Compression along the nearly orthogonal plane (2 2 $\bar{4}$ 15) was marked by a much lower degree of both twinning and recrystallization. The variation in microstructural response with the orientation of loading allows for a wide range for tailoring mechanical properties of pure magnesium single crystals without any need of alloying.

Corresponding author
a) Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
Hide All

Contributing Editor: Jürgen Eckert

Hide All
1. Witte, F., Hort, N., Vogt, C., Cohen, S., Kainer, K.U., Willumeit, R., and Feyerabend, F.: Degradable biomaterials based on magnesium corrosion. Curr. Opin. Solid State Mater. Sci. 12(5), 63 (2008).
2. Witte, F.: The history of biodegradable magnesium implants: A review. Acta Biomater. 6(5), 1680 (2010).
3. Kirkland, N.T.: Magnesium biomaterials: Past, present and future. Corros. Eng., Sci. Technol. 47(5), 322 (2012).
4. Witte, F., Eliezer, A., and Cohen, S.: The history, challenges and the future of biodegradable metal implants. Adv. Mater. Res. 95, 3 (2010).
5. Pollock, T.M.: Weight loss with magnesium alloys. Science 328(5981), 986 (2010).
6. Reed-Hill, R.E. and Robertson, W.D.: The crystallographic characteristics of fracture in magnesium single crystals. Acta Metall. 5(12), 728 (1957).
7. Yoshinaga, H. and Horiuchi, R.: Deformation mechanisms in magnesium single crystals compressed in direction parallel to hexagonal axis. Trans. Jpn. Inst. Met. 4(1), 1 (1963).
8. Wonsiewicz, B.C. and Backofen, W.A.: Plasticity of magnesium crystals. Trans. Metall. Soc. AIME 239, 1422 (1967).
9. Kelley, E.W. and Hosford, W.F.: Plane strain compression of magnesium and magnesium alloy crystals. Trans. Metall. Soc. AIME 242, 5 (1968).
10. Kitahara, H., Maruno, F., Tsushida, M., and Ando, S.: Deformation behavior of Mg single crystals during a single ECAP pass at room temperature. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 590, 274 (2014).
11. Li, Q.Z.: Fatigue behavior and microstructure of 0001 and 1014 magnesium single crystals under compression-compression cyclic loading. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 556, 301 (2012).
12. Bian, M.Z. and Shin, K.S.: {1012} twinning behavior in magnesium single crystal. Met. Mater. Int. 19(5), 999 (2013).
13. Chapuis, A.: Low temperature plane strain compression of a magnesium single crystal with 〈c〉 axis constrained. Mater. Sci. Eng., A 590, 401 (2014).
14. Syed, B., Geng, J., Mishra, R.K., and Kumar, K.S.: [0001] compression response at room temperature of single-crystal magnesium. Scr. Mater. 67(7), 700 (2012).
15. Chapuis, A. and Driver, J.H.: Temperature dependency of slip and twinning in plane strain compressed magnesium single crystals. Acta Mater. 59(5), 1986 (2011).
16. Al-Samman, T., Molodov, K.D., Molodov, D.A., Gottstein, G., and Suwas, S.: Softening and dynamic recrystallization in magnesium single crystals during c-axis compression. Acta Mater. 60(2), 537 (2012).
17. Hartt, W.H. and Reed-Hill, R.E.: The irrational habit of second-order {1011}–{1012} twins in magnesium. Trans. Metall. Soc. AIME 239, 1511 (1967).
18. Hartt, W.H. and Reed Hill, R.E.: Internal deformation and fracture of second-order {1011}–{1012} twins in magnesium. Trans. Metall. Soc. AIME 242, 1127 (1968).
19. Ando, D., Koike, J., and Sutou, Y.: Relationship between deformation twinning and surface step formation in AZ31 magnesium alloys. Acta Mater. 58(13), 4316 (2010).
20. Jiang, L., Jonas, J.J., Luo, A.A., Sachdev, A.K., and Godet, S.: Twinning-induced softening in polycrystalline AM30 Mg alloy at moderate temperatures. Scr. Mater. 54(5), 771 (2006).
21. Molodov, K.D., Al-Samman, T., Molodov, D.A., and Gottstein, G.: Mechanisms of exceptional ductility of magnesium single crystal during deformation at room temperature: Multiple twinning and dynamic recrystallization. Acta Mater. 76, 314 (2014).
22. Salunke, P., Joshi, M., Chaswal, V., Zhang, G., Rosenbaum, L., Dowling, K., Decker, P., and Shanov, V.: Magnesium single crystals for biomedical applications grown in vertical Bridgman apparatus. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 87(10), 105126 (2016).
23. Bachmann, F., Hielscher, R., Johnson, O.K., and Mainprice, D.: MTEX toolbox (2015). Available at: (accessed 23 March 2017).
24. Nieh, T.G., Wadsworth, J., and Sherby, O.D.: Superplasticity in Metals and Ceramics (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge U.K., 1997); pp. 2227.
25. Schmid, E. and Boas, W.: Plasticity of Crystals with Special Reference to Metals (F. A. Hughes and Company, London U.K., 1950); pp. 287321.
26. Hayden, H.W., Moffatt, W.G., and Wulff, J.: The Structure and Properties of Materials, Vol. III (Wiley, New York, 1965); pp. 97120.
27. Christian, J.W. and Mahajan, S.: Deformation twinning. Prog. Mater. Sci. 39(1), 1 (1995).
28. Yu, Q., Jiang, Y., and Wang, J.: Cyclic deformation and fatigue damage in single-crystal magnesium under fully reversed strain-controlled tension–compression in the [1 0 0] direction. Scr. Mater. 96, 41 (2015).
29. Reed-Hill, R.E. and Abbaschian, R.: Physical Metallurgy Principles (PWS-Kent Publishing Company, Boston, Mass, 1992); pp. 521561.
30. Yoo, M.H.: Slip, twinning, and fracture in hexagonal close-packed metals. Metall. Trans. A 12(3), 409 (1981).
31. Zheng, Y.: Magnesium Alloys as Degradable Biomaterials (CRC Press, Boca Rotan, FL, 2015); pp. 136.
32. Avedesian, M.M. and Baker, H.: Magnesium and Magnesium Alloys (ASM International, Materials Park, OH, 1999); pp. 711.
33. Magnesium databank. Available at: (accessed 14 January 2017).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-materials-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed