Grain refinement in technically pure aluminium plates using incremental ECAP processing

Chrominski, W. and Olejnik, L. and Rosochowski, A. and Lewandowska, M. (2015) Grain refinement in technically pure aluminium plates using incremental ECAP processing. Materials Science and Engineering: A, 636. pp. 172-180. ISSN 0921-5093

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    Abstract

    Ultrafine grained materials are capable of superplastic elongation at strain rates approximately two orders of magnitude faster than those currently employed for commercial superplastic forming operations. However, such operations require the material in the form of thin sheets. Therefore, in this work, a new approach to produce ultrafine grained plate samples using a modified equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) method, namely incremental ECAP, was proposed. Unlike conventional ECAP, incremental ECAP works in small steps in which deformation and feeding are associated with two different tools acting asynchronously. Eight passes were applied to technically pure aluminium, with the sample rotation by 90° around the Z axis, which resulted in two full rotations and accumulated strain equal to 9.2. It was demonstrated that grain refinement under these conditions occurs very efficiently. Eight passes resulted in grain size reduction to below 500 nm and very high fraction of high angle grain boundaries of about 80%. This was attributed to the activation of different slip systems in consecutive passes (thanks to sample rotation) and the lack of redundant strain, which results in early establishment of equiaxial grain structure. These two features confirm incremental ECAP to be one of the most effective severe plastic deformation methods in terms of grain size refinement and high angle grain boundaries formationreduction to below 500nm and very high fraction of high angle grain boundaries of about 80%. This was attributed to the activation of different slip systems in consecutive passes (thanks to sample rotation) and the lack of redundant strain, which results in early establishment of equiaxial grain structure. These two features confirm incremental ECAP to be one of the most effective severe plastic deformation methods in terms of grain size refinement and high angle grain boundaries formation.