Electrolytic diffusing method was conducted at 500°C to prepare Mg-Li-Al-Zn master alloy in air. It was also explored for the melting and casting of Mg-Li alloy in air, as the Mg-Li-Al-Zn master alloy used as raw material. A mixture of 45 mass% lithium chloride (LiCl) and 55mass% potassium chloride (KCl) was employed as the electrolyte. Mg-9mass%Al-1 mass% Zn (AZ91) alloy was used as cathode material while graphite selected as anode. Experimental results showed that the electrolysis current linearly depended on the applied working voltage. Deposition of lithium occurred on the cathode surface. After the electrolysis experiments, Mg-12mass% Li-9mass% Al-1 mass% Zn alloy sheet can be obtained. At working voltage of 4.2 V and one hour electrolysis, the hexagonal-closed-pack AZ91D sheet (1.5-mm thickness) was fully converted to body-centered-cubic Mg-Li-Al-Zn alloy. The formation of Mg-Li phase during electrolysis was studied by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer (ICP), X-ray diffraction, and optical microscopy. It is diffusion rather than deposition rate (electrolysis current) that controlled the depth of Mg-Li phase formed in the cathode sample. The Mg-Li-Al-Zn alloy used as master alloys could be melted and casted in air without ignition. However, the content of lithium in the as-cast block was reduced to 3.77 mass%, properly due to oxidation of lithium metal during melting.
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