The diffusion characteristics of Mg–rare-earth diffusion couples were studied. Cylinders of pure Mg and rare earth (Dy, Nd, and Pr) were abutted and annealed at 500 °C for 100 h or 300 h. Point-by-point composition profiles were collected starting in pure Mg, across the diffusion zone, and ending in the pure rare earth, using energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy with a scanning electron microscope. The intermetallic phases that resulted due to diffusion were identified and compared to existing phase diagrams, for which the data is limited. For each diffusion couple, a plot of concentration versus distance perpendicular to the original plane of contact was obtained and analyzed using the Boltzman–Matano method. The interdiffusion coefficients for each set of phases were then calculated. The results show that diffusion through the intermetallic phases is much slower than is expected in a solid solution.
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