Bulk Nanocrystalline Metals: Review of the Current State of the Art and Future Opportunities for Copper and Copper Alloys

Report No. ARL-RP-485
Authors: M. A. Tschopp; H. A. Murdoch; L. J. Kecskes; K. A. Darling
Date/Pages: June 2014; 26 pages
Abstract: It is a new beginning for innovative fundamental and applied science in nanocrystalline materials. Many of the processing and consolidation challenges that have haunted nanocrystalline materials are now more fully understood, opening the doors for bulk nanocrystalline materials and parts to be produced. While challenges remain, recent advances in experimental, computational, and theoretical capability have allowed for bulk specimens that have heretofore been pursued only on a limited basis. This article discusses the methodology for synthesis and consolidation of bulk nanocrystalline materials using mechanical alloying, the alloy development and synthesis process for stabilizing these materials at elevated temperatures, and the physical and mechanical properties of nanocrystalline materials with a focus throughout on nanocrystalline copper and a nanocrystalline Cu-Ta system, consolidated via equal channel angular extrusion, with properties rivaling that of nanocrystalline pure Ta. Moreover, modeling and simulation approaches as well as experimental results for grain growth, grain boundary processes, and deformation mechanisms in nanocrystalline copper are briefly reviewed and discussed. Integrating experiments and computational materials science for synthesizing bulk nanocrystalline materials can bring about the next generation of ultrahigh strength materials for defense and energy applications.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2014