Deformation mechanisms and strain rate sensitivity of bimodal and ultrafine-grained copper

Bach J, Stoiber M, Schindler L, Höppel HW, Göken M (2020)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2020


Book Volume: 186

Pages Range: 363-373

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2019.12.044


Materials with ultrafine grain size in the range from 100 nm to 1 µm exhibit very high strength paired with a satisfactory ductility when compared to their coarse grained (CG) counterparts. Although this typical behavior is already well known, the dominating deformation mechanisms are still controversially discussed in literature. One idea to explain the deformation behavior of ultrafine-grained metals is that deformation is mainly triggered by grain boundary sliding. Another explanation is that deformation in ultrafine-grained materials is controlled by the thermally activated dislocation annihilation of dislocations at grain boundaries. To gain deeper insights to the relevant deformation mechanisms in UFG metals a systematic study was conducted where the deformation behavior of UFG and bimodal copper (consisting of UFG and CG grains) is compared to the behavior of their CG counterparts. The UFG microstructure was obtained by equal channel angular pressing (ECAP). To achieve a bimodal or coarsened microstructure, specimens were annealed at 125 °C or, respectively, at 140 °C subsequent to the ECAP-process. Mechanical characterization and investigation on the strain-rate sensitivity were done by compression strain-rate jump tests at room-temperatures and elevated temperatures. It turned out clearly that the degree of bimodality determines the dominant deformation mechanism and the strain-rate sensitivity. In the UFG-state thermally activated annihilation of dislocations at the grain boundaries govern the mechanical behavior. For the bimodal microstructure the annihilation of dislocation at the interface of coarsened grains to the surrounding ultrafine-grained matrix dominate the mechanical behavior. For the fully coarsened state plastic deformation is mainly governed by dislocation interaction in the grain interior. In this regime, annihilation at grain boundaries plays only a minor role.

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Bach, J., Stoiber, M., Schindler, L., Höppel, H.W., & Göken, M. (2020). Deformation mechanisms and strain rate sensitivity of bimodal and ultrafine-grained copper. Acta Materialia, 186, 363-373.


Bach, Jochen, et al. "Deformation mechanisms and strain rate sensitivity of bimodal and ultrafine-grained copper." Acta Materialia 186 (2020): 363-373.

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