Effect of heat treatments (namely T6, T73, RRA, OP1 and OP2) on the tensile strength (TS) and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) resistance of aluminum alloy 7050 in 3.5% NaCl solution at pH 12 has been investigated using constant extension rate tester (CERT). T6 increases the TS but decreases the SCC-resistance. To the opposite, T73 (i.e., T6 + 160 °C/30 h) increases the SCC-resistance but decreases the TS. Retrogression and re-aging (RRA, i.e., T6 + 200 °C/10 min + water quench + 120 °C/24 h) increases both TS and SCC-resistance but this treatment confines only to thin and small specimens. Step-quench aging (SQA, i.e., 470 °C/1 h + step-quench to 200 °C/1 min + water quench/or air cooling + natural aging at room temperature/1 week + 120 °C/24 h) provides a relatively practical treatment to enhance both the TS and SCC-resistance even the specimen either having quenched in water (OP1) or cooled in the air (OP2) in the process. Through electrochemical testing and micro-structural examination, we found that both the TS and SCC-resistance of AA7050 is governed by the microstructures that depend on heat treatments.
- Heat treatment
- Mechanical strength