Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 505–519 | Cite as

Influence of Process Parameters on the Mechanical Behavior of an Ultrafine-Grained Al Alloy

  • Troy D. Topping
  • Byungmin Ahn
  • Ying Li
  • Steven R. Nutt
  • Enrique J. Lavernia


Aluminum alloys with nanocrystalline (NC) and ultrafine grain (UFG) size are of interest because of their strengths that are typically 30 pct greater than conventionally processed alloys of the same composition. In this study, UFG AA 5083 plate was prepared by quasi-isostatic (QI) forging of cryomilled powder, and the microstructure and mechanical behavior was investigated and compared with the behavior of coarse-grained AA 5083. Forging parameters were adjusted in an effort to strengthen the UFG material while retaining some tensile ductility. Different forging parameters were employed on three plates, with approximate dimensions of 254 mm diameter and 19 mm thickness. The overarching goal of the current effort was to increase strength through minimized grain growth during processing while maintaining ductility by breaking up prior particle boundaries (PPBs) with high forging pressures. Mechanical tests revealed that strength increased inversely with grain size, whereas ductility for some of the experimental materials was preserved at the level of the conventional alloy. The application of the Hall-Petch relationship to the materials was studied and is discussed in detail with consideration given to strengthening mechanisms other than grain size, including dispersion (Orowan), solid solution, and dislocation strengthening.


Grain Boundary Slide Process Control Agent Orowan Strengthen Cryomilled Powder Prior Particle Boundary 



The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from The Office of Naval Research (Contract No. N00014-03-C0163) to produce and characterize the materials with the assistance of Dr. Piers Newbery. Also acknowledged is the Materials Design Institute, a joint research program between Los Alamos National Laboratory, LLC (LANS) and the College of Engineering, University of California–Davis (LANS Subcontract 25110-002-06) for funding to continue basic scientific research on the materials after they were produced. Mark R. van den Bergh and Cory A. Smith of DWA Aluminum Composites (Chatsworth, CA) are acknowledged for their technical expertise and manufacturing assistance during cryomilling. Henry (Mic) Meeks and Mark Fleming of Advance Materials & Manufacturing Technologies (Granite Bay, CA) are acknowledged for their technical advice and expertise during quasi-isostatic forging.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Troy D. Topping
    • 1
  • Byungmin Ahn
    • 2
  • Ying Li
    • 1
  • Steven R. Nutt
    • 2
  • Enrique J. Lavernia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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