Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 33–49 | Cite as

Nanostructured Al and Cu alloys with superior strength and electrical conductivity

  • M. Yu Murashkin
  • I. Sabirov
  • X. Sauvage
  • R. Z. Valiev
50th Anniversary

Abstract

Mechanical strength and electrical conductivity are the most important properties of conducting metallic materials used in electrical engineering. Today, there is a growing need in this field for innovative conductor materials with improved properties. Meanwhile, the main issue is that high electrical conductivity and high strength are usually mutually exclusive due to physical nature of these properties. Alloying of pure metals results in significant increase of their mechanical strength, whereas electrical conductivity dramatically drops due to the scattering of electrons at solutes and precipitates. Recent studies have shown that intelligent nanostructural design in Al, Cu, and their alloys can improve combination of high mechanical strength with enhanced electrical conductivity. It was demonstrated that mechanical strength and electrical conductivity of these materials are primarily controlled by their microstructure, of which grain size, morphology of second phases, and their distribution, as well as dislocation structure, are the most important parameters. Rapid development of the state-of-the-art methods for the microstructural characterization at nano- and atomic scale has allowed a deeper insight into microstructure–properties relationship. The approach of intelligent nanostructural design of Al and Cu alloys has even enabled to increase the material strength with simultaneous improvement of its electrical conductivity. In this case, recent works on nanostructuring alloys by severe plastic deformation are of special interest, which gives rise to fundamental questions dealing with new mechanisms of strength and electrical conductivity as well as innovation potential of practical application of nanostructured materials. These issues are considered and discussed in the present progress article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Yu Murashkin
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. Sabirov
    • 3
  • X. Sauvage
    • 4
  • R. Z. Valiev
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Physics of Advanced MaterialsUfa State Aviation Technical UniversityUfaRussia
  2. 2.Laboratory for Mechanics of Bulk NanomaterialsSaint Petersburg State UniversitySaint PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.IMDEA Materials InstituteMadridSpain
  4. 4.Groupe de Physique des Matériaux, UMR CNRS 6634, Université et INSA de RouenSaint Etienne du RouvrayFrance

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