Fabrication, microstructure, properties and deformation mechanisms of a nanocrystalline Al-Fe-Cr-Ti alloy by mechanical alloying

Date of Completion

January 2005


Engineering, Metallurgy|Engineering, Materials Science




A multi-phase nanocrystalline Al93Fe3Cr2Ti 2 alloy containing 30 vol.% intermetallic particles was prepared via mechanical alloying starting from elemental powders, followed by hot extrusion. The grain size of 6-45 nm can be achieved after 30-hours of milling. Thermal stability of nanostructured Al93Fe3Ti2Cr 2 alloys was investigated using a variety of analytical techniques including modulated differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy. The MA-processed Al93Fe 3Ti2Cr2 alloy in the as-milled condition was composed of an Al-based supersaturated solid solution with high internal strains. Release of internal strains, intermetallic precipitation and grain growth occurred upon heating of the MA-processed Al alloy. Nevertheless, grain growth in the MA-processed Al alloy was very limited and fcc-Al grains with sizes in the range of 20 nm were still present in the alloys after exposure to 450°C (0.77 Tm). ^ Systematic compressive tests and modulus measurements were performed as a function of temperature and strain rate to investigate the deformation behavior and mechanisms of the nc Al-Fe-Cr-Ti alloys. High strengths and moduli at both ambient and elevated temperatures have been demonstrated. The ductility of the nc Al93Fe3Cr2Ti2 alloy depends strongly on whether the oxide film at the prior powder particle boundary has been broken down or not. The MA-processed Al93Fe3Cr 2Ti2 alloy is brittle when the oxide film is continuous at PPB, and is ductile when the oxide film is broken down into discontinuous particles during extrusion. It is argued that the compressive strength at ambient temperature is controlled by propagation of dislocations into nc fcc-Al grains, whereas the compressive strength at elevated temperature is determined by dislocation propagation as well as dynamic recovery. Since the stress for dislocation propagation into nc fcc-Al grains increases with decreasing the grain size, the smaller the grain size, the higher the compressive strength. This new microstructural design approach could present opportunities for exploiting nc materials in structural applications at both ambient and elevated temperatures. ^ The nanocrystalline Al-Fe-Cr-Ti alloy exhibited significant difference in deformation behavior between tension and compression at 25, 200 and 300°C. However, the strengths obtained in tension and compression were similar at 400°C. Systematic microstructure examinations and deformation mechanism analyses indicate that the asymmetry of this nc Al93Fe3Cr 2Ti2 alloy is related to its dislocation mediated plastic deformation mechanism, its nanoscale grain microstructure, and premature brittle failure in tension tests. ^