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Thermal stability of the nanostructure of mechanically milled Cu–5 vol% Al2O3 nanocomposite powder particles

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2014

Dengshan Zhou
Affiliation:
Waikato Centre for Advanced Materials, School of Engineering, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Deliang Zhang
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory for Metal Matrix Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Charlie Kong
Affiliation:
Electron Microscope Unit, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Paul Munroe
Affiliation:
Electron Microscope Unit, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Rob Torrens
Affiliation:
Waikato Centre for Advanced Materials, School of Engineering, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
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Abstract

Isothermal annealing in the temperature range of 300–600 °C, microstructural characterization, and analysis of the grain growth kinetics during annealing were carried out for Cu–5 vol% Al2O3 nanocomposite powder particles produced by high energy mechanical milling. When the annealing temperature was 400 °C or lower, only reduction in dislocation density occurred during annealing. When the annealing temperature was 500 °C or higher, reduction in dislocation density, abnormal grain growth of the nanocrystalline Cu matrix, and coarsening of the Al2O3 nanoparticles occurred. It has been found that the microstructure of the nanocrystalline Cu matrix of the nanocomposite exhibits a far higher thermal stability than that of monolithic nanocrystalline Cu, even though the apparent activation energy of the grain growth of the former is similar to that of the latter over the temperature range of 400–600 °C, showing the dramatic drag effects of finely distributed Al2O3 nanoparticles and Al3+/O2− clusters on the grain boundary motion.

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Copyright © Materials Research Society 2014 

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