Rolled sheets of AZ31 Mg alloys were subjected to tensile testing at temperatures ranging from room temperature to 523 K. The occurrence of grain-boundary sliding (GBS) at room temperature was demonstrated by the displacement of scribed lines across grain boundaries of deformed samples. Surface relief of deformed samples was measured by use of a scanning laser microscope. GBS strain was calculated from the measured surface step height, and its temperature dependence was analyzed by a Dorn-type constitutive equation. GBS above 423 K was found to be pure GBS that was activated by resolved applied shear stress acting on grain boundaries. The activation energy for GBS was found to be 80 kJ/mol, which is in agreement with the activation energy for grain boundary diffusion. Meanwhile, GBS below 373 K was found to be slip-induced GBS, and its extent was found to be significantly greater than that expected from extrapolation of high-temperature values. The slip-induced GBS is considered to occur by plastic compatibility conditions in the presence of plastic strain anisotropy and by absorption and dissociation of lattice dislocations at grain boundaries.
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