July 23, 2021
Microstructural evolution in Cu-Nb processed via friction consolidation
AbstractImmiscible alloys, whether in well-mixed or layered forms, are of increasing interest based on their novel structural and functional properties, such as enhanced thermal stability against grain growth or radiation-induced defect trapping at the interfaces. To address the need for new approaches to tailor microstructures, the microstructural development of an immiscible Cu-Nb alloy processed via friction consolidation of elemental powders is investigated. Friction consolidation is a solid-phase processing technique that imparts severe plastic strain into a deforming volume resulting in elevated temperatures below the melting temperature of the alloy. Two distinct processing pathways were chosen to understand the effect of thermomechanical conditions on the final microstructure. The microstructure was characterized using scanning electron microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction techniques. Path 1 exhibited larger strain, strain rate, and temperature as compared with path 2. In path 1, agglomerated Nb particles were present in the recrystallized ultrafine-grained Cu matrix, while in path 2 extremely fine and dispersed Nb particles were present in a highly deformed Cu matrix. In both pathways, supersaturation of Cu in Nb lattices was noted, but not vice-versa. The asymmetry in mixing is explained based on deformation-based, thermodynamic and kinetic factors. These findings provide a pathway for creation of novel tailored microstructures and improved properties in any number of binary immiscible alloy systems.
Published: July 23, 2021