The microstructures of hot- and cold-rolled Mg-3Al-1Zn (AZ31) are examined using scanning electron and optical microscopy. It is shown that the microstructures following multipass hot rolling and annealing are more uniform than those formed by heavy single pass rolling and annealing. The importance of twins in producing intragranular recrystallization is evident, although the most dominant nucleation site is grain boundaries. The cold-rolled structure after a rolling reduction of 15 pct is dominated by the presence of deformation twins. Twin trace analysis suggests that approximately two thirds of the twins are a form of “c-axis compression” twin. A number of “c-axis tension” twins were also observed and additional in-situ scanning electron microscopy experiments were performed to confirm earlier observations that suggest these twins can form after deformation, during unloading.
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