Development of Superplastic Properties in Quasi Single Phase Alloys
The early view of superplasticity was that it was a phenomenon that could only be exhibited by fine grained, two phase alloys. This effectively ruled out most alloys that possessed attractive service properties. The first material to demonstrate good superplastic properties from a virtually single phase microstructure was the Al-6%Cu-0.5%Zr, AA 2004 but this was followed by superplastic versions of AA7475, AA8090 and AA5083. Superplasticity was also demonstrated in magnesium based alloys at an early stage. More recently different grain control additions, such as scandium or erbium have been investigated and it has also been demonstrated that, in certain circumstances, aluminium simply with the addition of a grain controlling element can exhibit good superplastic behaviour. While conventional wisdom teaches that large fabricating strains are required to confer good superplastic properties in the sheet product, recent results with both aluminium and magnesium alloys cast doubt on this belief. Although, for many years, strip casting has appeared to provide an attractive semi-fabricating route for superplastic sheet problems with centre line segregation in alloys with a wide freezing range have precluded its use. It has been demonstrated that recent developments in strip casting enable production of alloys with as wide a freezing range as AA5182 to be cast with a fine, equiaxed grain structure across the strip thickness. The paper will review the state of these various developments and their implications for the manufacture of superplastic sheet materials.
R. Grimes et al., "Development of Superplastic Properties in Quasi Single Phase Alloys", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 551-552, pp. 357-364, 2007