ECAP processing and mechanical milling of Mg and Mg–Ti powders: a comparative study
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A study was carried out into the possibility of employing ECAP processing in lieu of mechanical milling for the purpose of developing powder-based hydrogen storage alloys. Mg and Mg–Ti powder compacts were encapsulated in a copper block and were subjected to ECAP deformation to an apparent strain of ε = 4. This resulted in the consolidation of the compacts as well as in the refinement of their structures. The values of coherently diffracting volume size were as small as 70–80 nm, quite comparable to those achieved with mechanical milling. It is, therefore, concluded that ECAP processing can be employed successfully for the purpose of structural refinement. As for material synthesis, however, the ECAP is less efficient in expanding the interfacial area. Therefore, it is necessary to impose relatively heavy strains to able to achieve comparable expansion in the interfacial area. It appears that an advantage of ECAP deformation is the development of structures which have improved ability for milling. It is, therefore, recommended that in the processing of hydrogen storage alloys, the powder mixtures may be first processed with ECAP in open atmosphere and then by mechanical milling of a short duration carried out under protective atmosphere.
KeywordsMilling Powder Compact True Strain Equal Channel Angular Pressing Mechanical Milling
Support for this study was provided by DPT with project number BAP-03-08-DPT.200305K120920-20 and by the FP6 program of the European Commission project (FP6-200-3-518-271), NESSHY, which we gratefully acknowledge.
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