A novel continuous process of severe plastic deformation (SPD) named continuous close die forging (CCDF) is presented. The CCDF process combines all favorite advances of multidirectional forging and other SPD methods, and it can be easily scaled up for industrial use. Keeping constant both the cross section and the length of the sample, the new method promotes a refinement of the microstructure. The grain refinement and mechanical properties of commercially pure aluminum (AA1050) were studied as a function of the number of CCDF repetitive passes and the previous conditioning heat treatment. In particular, two different pre-annealing treatments were applied. The first one consisted of a reheating to 623 K (350 °C) for 1 h aimed at eliminating the effect of the deformation applied during the bar extrusion. The second pre-annealing consisted on a reheating to 903 K (630 °C) for 48 h plus cooling down to 573 K (300 °C) at 66 K/h. At this latter temperature, the material remained for 3 h prior to a final cooling to room temperature within the furnace, i.e., slow cooling rate. This treatment aimed at increasing the elongation and formability of the material. No visible cracking was detected in the workpiece of AA1050 processed up to 16 passes at room temperature after the first conditioning heat treatment, and 24 passes were able to be applied when the material was subjected to the second heat treatment. After processing through 16 passes for the low temperature pre-annealed samples, the microstructure was refined down to a mean grain size of 0.82 µm and the grain size was further reduced to 0.72 µm after 24 passes, applied after the high temperature heat treatment. Tensile tests showed the best mechanical properties after the high temperature pre-annealing and 24 passes of the novel CCDF method. A yield strength and ultimate tensile strength of 180 and 226 MPa, respectively, were obtained. Elongation to fracture was 18%. The microstructure and grain boundary nature are discussed in relation to the mechanical properties attained by the current ultrafine-grained (UFG) AA1050 processed by this new method.
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