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A non-equilibrium Cu-Zr-Ag alloy was designed for the development of an alternative electric connector to Cu-Be alloys. This work aims at producing a Cu-Zr-Ag sheet using a hot-powder-rolling (HPR) process. The sheets were produced by a sequential process of HPR, pre-annealing, and cold rolling, using Cu93.5Zr5.5Ag1 (at.%) alloy powder produced by an argon gas atomization method. The Cu93.5Zr5.5Ag1 alloy sheet has a tensile strength of 1188 MPa and a conductivity of 33.2% IACS, which are similar values to those of Cu-Be alloys. In this paper, we optimize the conditions of the HPR process and reveal the correlation between the microstructure and properties of the Cu-Zr-Ag sheet produced by the HPR process. In addition, we discuss the alloy’s applicability for use as a connecter material.
Present progress in developments of glassy alloy composites for bit-patterned-media and non-equilibrium Cu-based alloys for conductive materials of electrical connectors are reviewed. It is proven that the imprinting of the Pd-based glassy alloy thin film is favorable for the formation of nano-structured devices. Detailed imprinted morphologies formed by different imprinting conditions were examined. In addition, technology of large area imprinting up to 2.5 inches area has been successfully developed and it is now available for production. These technological developments will be utilized for next generation bit-patterned-media with high data density. A newly developed non-equilibrium Cu-Zr-Ag alloy was prepared into sheet form by the combination of casting, cold rolling and annealing. The alloy sheet exhibited high tensile strength of exceeding 1500 MPa and good electrical conductivity of 30% IACS. However, bending ductility should be improved for the actual production of connector. Through the several examinations, remaining issues that should be solved are discussed in the framework of industrialization and commercialization. These obtained results suggest that the glassy alloy composite or non-equilibrium alloy designed by the glass-forming rules have a great potential to develop innovative products in the near future.
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