Commercial MgAlZn alloy AZ31 was processed by two techniques of severe plastic deformation (SPD): equal channel angular pressing and high pressure torsion. Several microscopic techniques, namely light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, electron backscatter diffraction, and automated crystallographic orientation mapping were employed to characterize the details of microstructure evolution and grain fragmentation of the alloy as a function of strain imposed to the material using these SPD techniques. The advantages and drawbacks of these techniques, as well as the limits of their resolution, are discussed in detail. The results of microstructure observations indicate the effectiveness of grain refinement by severe plastic deformation in this alloy. The thermal stability of ultrafine-grained structure that is important for practical applications is also discussed.
Part of the book: Modern Electron Microscopy in Physical and Life Sciences
This chapter reviews the thermal stability of ultra-fine grained (UFG) microstructure in selected magnesium and titanium-based materials prepared by severe plastic deformation (SPD). The focus is on the wide palette of experimental methods applicable for investigation of microstructural stability. These methods include scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), microhardness measurement, positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS), and electrical resistance measurement. Microstructural stability of UFG commercially pure (CP) Ti and Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy produced by equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) is studied ex situ after annealing by SEM, by microhardness measurements, and in situ during heating, by high precision electrical resistance measurements. Both materials show stable UFG structure up to 440°C. Further annealing causes recovery and recrystallization of the microstructure. At 650°C, the microstructure is completely recrystallized. Magnesium alloy AZ31 is prepared by hot extrusion followed by ECAP. UFG microstructure recovers and continuously recrystallizes during annealing. The microstructure of UFG AZ31 alloy is stable up to 170°C and subsequent grain growth is analyzed. Special attention is paid to interpret the activation energy of the grain growth. The superplastic properties of UFG AZ31 alloy are investigated in the temperature range of 170–250°C.
Part of the book: Severe Plastic Deformation Techniques