, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 1543-1551

Microstructure, tensile properties and fracture behaviour of an Al-Cu-Li-Mg-Zr alloy 8090

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Abstract

The addition of lithium to aluminium alloys has the potential for providing a class of high strength alloys with exceptional properties suitable for aerospace applications. One such candidate is 8090, a precipitation hardenable Al-Li-Cu-Mg alloy. Detailed optical microscopical observations were used to analyse the intrinsic microstructural features of the alloy. It is shown that microstructural characteristics have a pronounced influence on tensile properties and fracture behaviour of the alloy in the peak-aged, maximum strength condition. Tensile test results indicate that the alloy has property combinations comparable with other high strength commercial aluminium alloys. The elongation and reduction in area are higher in the transverse direction of the extruded plate. A change in fracture mode was observed with direction of testing. We rationalize such behaviour based on the grain structure of the material, and the nature, distribution and morphology of the second-phase particles. An attempt is made to discuss the kinetics of the fracture process in terms of several competing mechanistic effects involving intrinsic microstructural features, deformation characteristics of the matrix, brittleness of the grain boundary precipitates and grain boundary failure. The role of stress on particle fracture is highlighted.