In this paper, the precipitation, recrystallization, and evolution of twins in Cu-Cr-Zr alloy strips were investigated. Tensile specimens were aged at three different temperatures for various times so as to bring the strips into every possible aging condition. The results show that the appropriate aging parameter for the 70% reduced cold-rolled alloy strips is 723 K for 240 min, with a tensile strength of 536 MPa and an electrical conductivity of 85.3% International Annealed Copper Standards (IACS) at the peak aged condition. The formation of fcc (face-centered cubic) ordered Cr-rich precipitates (β′) is an important factor influencing the significant improvement of properties near the peak aged condition. In terms of crystallographic orientation relationships, there are basically two types of β′ precipitates in the alloy. Beyond the Cr-rich precipitates (β′(I)) formed during the early aging stages, which mimic a cube-on-cube orientation relationship (OR) with the matrix, another Cr-rich precipitate (β′(II)) is observed in the peak aged condition. β′(II) is coherent with the matrix, with the following ORs: β′(II)
. These precipitates have a strong dislocation and grain boundary pinning effect, which hinder the dislocation movement and crystal boundary migration, and eventually delay recrystallization and enhance the recrystallization resistance of the peak aged strips. During the subsequent annealing process, the transition phase β′ gradually loses the coherence mismatch and grows into a larger equilibrium phase of chromium with a bcc (body-centered cubic) structure (β), resulting in the reduction of the pinning effect to dislocations and sub-grains, so that recrystallization occurs. Annealing twins are formed during the recrystallization process to release the deformation energy and to reduce the drive force for interface migration, eventually hindering grain growth.
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