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Metals 2016, 6(9), 194; doi:10.3390/met6090194

Microstructure, Hardness Evolution, and Thermal Stability Mechanism of Mechanical Alloyed Cu-Nb Alloy during Heat Treatment

1
College of Materials Science and Engineering, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou 310018, China
2
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chun-Liang Chen
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 11 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical Alloying)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2863 KB, uploaded 26 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

The microstructure, hardness evolution, and thermal stability of mechanically alloyed (MA-ed) nanocrystalline Cu–10 wt %Nb solid solution during heat treatment were examined using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) observations, and microhardness measurement. It is found that the pronounced precipitation of Nb from the Cu-Nb supersaturated solid solution occurs at temperatures up to 700 °C, and the annealed alloy shows a bi-nanostructure with Nb nanoparticles dispersed in the nanocrystalline Cu matrix. The bi-nanostructure remains stable with Cu crystalline grain size below 100 nm and Nb particle size around 10 nm even after annealing at 900 °C for 3 h. The microhardness of the annealed sample shows a small increase after annealing at 400 °C, and then it shows a slow decreasing trend with further increasing temperatures. With the help of the kinetics analyses, it is found that the coarsening of the stable Nb nanoparticles is controlled by volume diffusion. The enhanced stability of the nanocrystalline Cu microstructure is mainly attributed to the solute drag and precipitate pinning effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: mechanical alloying; nanocrystalline material; copper alloys; microstructure; high thermal stability mechanical alloying; nanocrystalline material; copper alloys; microstructure; high thermal stability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lei, R.; Wang, M.; Xu, S.; Wang, H.; Chen, G. Microstructure, Hardness Evolution, and Thermal Stability Mechanism of Mechanical Alloyed Cu-Nb Alloy during Heat Treatment. Metals 2016, 6, 194.

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