Microstructural Evolution in an Al-6061 Alloy Processed by High-Pressure Torsion and Rapid Annealing
The processing of bulk metals through the application of severe plastic deformation provides the opportunity for introducing significant grain refinement into bulk solids. In the present investigation, an aluminum alloy (Al-6061) was processed by high-pressure torsion (HPT) at room temperature under an applied pressure of 6.0 GPa up to a total of 5 turns. Detailed measurements after processing revealed the occurrence of continuous grain refinement and material strengthening with increasing imposed strain. The average grain size of the alloy was reduced from ~150 m to a grain size in the range of ~500 nm through processing by HPT. Although there was a difference in the average grain size of samples processed to different levels of imposed strain, careful inspection showed that the structures became similar after annealing at 250°C for 5 min. This suggests that the additional grain refinement introduced at large amounts of deformations is less stable at high temperatures. The results of this investigation, including the distributions of the grain sizes after annealing, are consistent with the predictions of a model based on the occurrence of continuous recrystallization in aluminum alloys having fine grain structures, large fractions of high-angle grain boundaries and where there is a large amount of deformation.
Jing Tao Wang, Roberto B. Figueiredo and Terence G. Langdon
A. Loucif et al., "Microstructural Evolution in an Al-6061 Alloy Processed by High-Pressure Torsion and Rapid Annealing", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 667-669, pp. 223-228, 2011