A model for the yield strength of multi-component alloys is presented and applied to overaged Al–Zn–Mg–Cu alloys (7xxx series). The model is based on an approximation of the strengthening due to precipitate bypassing during precipitate coarsening and takes account of ternary and higher order systems. It takes account of the influence of supersaturation on precipitation rates and of volume fraction on coarsening rates, as well crystallographic texture and recrystallisation. The model has been successfully used to fit and predict the yield strength data of 21 Al–Zn–Mg–Cu alloys, with compositions spread over the whole range of commercial alloying compositions, and which were aged for a range of times and temperatures to produce yield strengths ranging from 400 to 600 MPa. All but one of the microstructural and reaction rate parameters in the model are determined on the basis of microstructural data, with one parameter fitted to yield strength data. The resulting accuracy in predicting unseen proof strength data is 14 MPa. In support of the model, microstructures and phase transformations of 7xxx alloys were studied by a range of techniques, including differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) in an SEM with a field emission gun (FEG-SEM)
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