Abstract: During the last decade severe plastic deformation (SPD) has become a well established method of materials processing used for fabrication of ultrafine-grained materials with attractive properties. Nowadays SPD processing is rapidly developing and is on the verge of a transition from lab-scale research to commercial production. This paper focuses on several new trends in the development of SPD techniques for effective grain refinement. The paper also presents new SPD processing routes to produce bulk nanocrystalline materials.
Abstract: The formation of nanocrystalline structure in steels by ball milling, shot peening and
drilling were studied. In ball milling and shot peening, nanocrystalline layers form with sharp boundaries from deformed structure regions. Nanocrystalline layer showed extremely high hardness. By annealing, nanocrystalline layer showed substantially slow grain growth without recrystallization. The temperature of the specimen during deformation is low and deformation is done in ferrite state. In drilling, several μm thick nanocrystalline layers form at the top surface of a drill hole. Nanocrystalline layers showed high hardness and good thermal stability. The fresh martensite and retained austenite near a drill hole indicate that the temperature reached above Ac3 and nanocrystalline layers are produced in austenite condition. It is recognized that nanocrystalline layers produced in the processes studied in the present investigation has similar characteristics irrespective of the temperature it produced. It is proposed that deformation with a large strain gradient is an important condition to produce nanocrystalline structure.
Abstract: It is now recognized that processing by equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) leads to very significant grain refinement in polycrystalline materials with the as-pressed grains typically having sizes within the submicrometer range. Furthermore, the materials produced by ECAP exhibit many useful properties including a high strength at ambient temperatures and, if these ultrafine grains are retained to elevated temperatures, a potential for superplastic forming. This paper examines the fundamental characteristics of grain refinement by making use of two sets of experimental observations: experimental data obtained from the pressing of aluminum single crystals through one pass of ECAP and hardness measurements taken on polycrystalline aluminum for samples subjected to ECAP for up to a total of eight passes. These experimental results are used to develop a microstructural model that provides a satisfactory explanation for the grain refinement occurring in ECAP.
Abstract: The mechanical properties of ultrafine-grained metals processed by equal channel angular pressing is investigated by nanoindentations in comparison with measurements on nanocrystalline nickel with a grain size between 20 and 400 nm produced by pulsed electrodeposition. Besides hardness and Young’s modulus measurements, the nanoindentation method allows also controlled experiments on the strain rate sensitivity, which are discussed in detail in this paper. Nanoindentation measurements can be performed at indentation strain rates between 10-3 s-1 and 0.1 s-1. Nanocrystalline and ultrafine-grained fcc metals as Al and Ni show a significant strain rate sensitivity at room temperature in comparison with conventional grain sized materials. In ultrafine-grained bcc Fe the strain rate sensitivity does not change significantly after severe plastic deformation. Inelastic effects are found during repeated unloading-loading experiments in nanoindentations.
Abstract: Equal Channel Angular Extrusion (ECAE) has become a very popular tool for studying the evolution of microstructure and properties under severe plastic deformation. It is believed that the stress-strain characteristics are uniform in a cross-section of the billet and this uniformity of the stress-strain distribution ensures the uniformity of microstructure and mechanical properties in ECAE processed billet. However, some experimental data such as the fracture of the extruded billet, which is initiated at the inner surface of the sample, has caused doubts about uniformity of stress-strain distribution. This non-uniformity has been proved recently by Finite Element Simulation.
In this paper the studies of the positive role of the applied back-pressure during ECAE are reviewed and the influence of a back-pressure on the uniformity of the stress-strain distribution, strain localisation, die corner filing, and the prevention of fracture is shown. The effect of back-pressure on grain refinement and improvement in mechanical properties is emphasized. The paper summarises our results from over seven years of work using a unique machine for ECAE with computer-controlled back-pressure and velocity of the backward punch.
Abstract: The present work is an attempt to contribute the current understanding of the operating mechanisms responsible for the development of ultrafine grains during severe plastic deformation (SPD) in aluminium. Equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) at room temperature has been applied to a commercial Al-Mg-Si alloy. Route A was used in all pressings and the first two passes were studied in most detail. Advanced characterization methods such as FEG-SEM with a state-of-the-art
microdiffraction unit has been applied when characterizing samples carefully prepared from different positions along certain flow paths in the process shear zone. Intrinsic strain measurements are done in parallel in order to describe the actual strain tensor in each position studied. Detailed information on phenomena involved in the grain break-up mechanisms has been obtained by high resolution EBSD data collected through the deformation zone. The microstructural development seems to be dominated by deformation banding and may be explained in terms of the LEDS theory.
Abstract: The evolution of strength characteristics and the microstructure of copper subjected to high pressure torsion (HPT) are studied under variation of strain and hydrostatic pressure. Measurements of Multiple X-ray Bragg Profile Analysis (MXPA) yield microstructural parameters like dislocation density and arrangement, as well as crystallite (domain) size and distribution, and long-range internal stresses. TEM investigations are carried out to analyse the structural elements and to compare them with the results of MXPA. The strength behaviour is studied by microhardness measurements. The investigations are performed within wide ranges of resolved shear strains = 1 to 400 and of applied pressures p = 0.8 to 8 GPa. The onset of the deformation stages IV and V is strongly affected by the hydrostatic pressure i.e. shifted to higher values of stress and strain with increasing pressure. The experimental results indicate the occurrence of recovery effects, which seem to be of static as well as of dynamic nature, and to be responsible for extended ductility in SPD materials.
Abstract: In discussing hardening characteristics in terms of crystalline lattice defects, in most cases the properties and kinetics of dislocations and their arrangement have been considered. However, during plastic deformation also vacancies and/or vacancy type defects are produced in very high densities which are typically close to those of vacancies in thermal equilibrium at the melting point. The effect of high vacancy concentrations on the hardening characteristics is twofold: (i) direct effects by impeding the movement of dislocations (ii) indirect one by inducing climbing and annihilation of edge dislocations leading to softening or even absolute decreases in strength. This paper presents first measurements of deformation induced vacancies in SPD materials which have been achieved by combined evaluation of resistometry, calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. The density of vacancies during and after SPD deformation is found to be markedly higher than in cases of conventional deformation and/or coarse grained material which may be partly attributed to the particular conditions of SPD namely the enhanced hydrostatic pressure as well as the changes in deformation path. It is suggested to make this high vacancy concentration responsible for both dynamic and static recovery and/or recrystallisation processes recently found during and after SPD, being potential reasons for enhanced ductility and superplasticity which only occur with nanomaterials originating from SPD. Recent publications show that in alloys, SPD induced vacancies can also enable the existence of phases which do not appear in the equilibrium diagram.
Abstract: The influence of strain path during equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) has been evaluated in pure aluminum by orientation imaging microscopy (OIM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The material was examined after four pressing operations by route BC in a 90° die, or eight pressing operations by route BC in a 135° die. The von Mises equivalent strains were essentially the same for these two ECAP procedures. The microtexture data indicate that the distortion during ECAP corresponds to a simple shear in a direction approximately parallel to diechannel exit and on a plane perpendicular to the flow plane. For both procedures the OIM data reveal prominent meso-scale band-like features. Lattice orientations in each band correspond to a texture orientation but the particular combinations of orientations depend upon ECAP die angle. High-angle boundaries in the structure correspond to interfaces between the bands.