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Influence of solid solution strengthening on the local mechanical properties of single crystal and ultrafine-grained binary Cu–AlX solid solutions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 August 2017

Verena Maier-Kiener
Montanuniversität Leoben, Department Physical Metallurgy and Materials Testing, Leoben A-8700, Austria
Xianghai An
Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, People’s Republic of China; and School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Linlin Li
Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, People’s Republic of China
Zhefeng Zhang
Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, People’s Republic of China
Reinhard Pippan
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Erich-Schmid-Institute of Materials Science, Leoben A-8700, Austria
Karsten Durst*
TU Darmstadt, Physical Metallurgy, Darmstadt 64287, Germany
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
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In this work, the influence of Al-solutes on the mechanical behavior of Cu–AlX solid solutions has been studied using indentation strain rate jump tests for single crystalline and ultrafine-grained (UFG) microstructures from high pressure torsion (HPT) processing. Al-solutes in Cu classically lead to a solid solution strengthening, coupled with a decrease in stacking fault energy, which influences also the grain size after HPT processing. For all alloys, a higher hardness is found at lower indentation depths, which can be nicely described by a modified Nix/Gao model down to 100 nm indentation depth. Among the single crystals, the largest size effects are found for the higher solute contents, indicating a stronger work hardening at small length scales for the solid solutions. The dilute UFG solid solutions showed a strong softening after a strain rate reduction test, with a pronounced transient region. Cu–Al15 is, however, quite stable, showing abrupt changes in hardness without strong transients. This indicates that solute solution strengthening does not only influence the indentation size effect and structure formation during HPT processing but also stabilizes the grain structure during subsequent deformation.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2017 

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Contributing Editor: Mathias Göken



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