Toughness after Interrupted Quench
We discuss data from a range of heat-treatable aluminum alloys, showing both yield strength and fracture toughness vs time at temperature of interrupted quench. Drop in toughness occurs at much shorter hold time than drop in strength. Concurrently the fracture becomes more intergranular. When later the yield strength falls, fracture becomes more transgranular, and toughness may rise. We attribute this pattern to two mechanisms: 1) Early quench precipitates nucleated on grain and/or subgrain boundaries grow to size sufficient to initiate fracture under tension, long before they withdraw significant solute from subsequent age-hardening. 2) Later quench precipitates nucleated on dispersoids and/or dislocations withdraw solute relatively uniformly, reducing matrix yield strength while increasing matrix ductility. We propose that quantitative modeling of change in strength and toughness with change in quench, requires multiple C-curves for multiple types of quench precipitates, and nonlinear relation of toughness to amount of boundary quench precipitate.
W.J. Poole, M.A. Wells and D.J. Lloyd
R.T. Shuey et al., "Toughness after Interrupted Quench", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 519-521, pp. 1017-1022, 2006