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Materials Science and Engineering A 406 (2005) 205216

Deformation mode and plastic ow in ultra ne grained metals

V.M. Segal
EPM Co., 2874 Laurel Ridge Ln, Howell, MI 48843, USA Accepted 24 June 2005

Abstract Mechanical behavior of ultra ne grained (UFG) metals fabricated by severe plastic deformation (SPD) is considered in the paper. The mechanisms of a crystallographic glide during a continuous micro ow and shear band (SB) localization/fragment rotation during a discontinuous micro ow are analyzed by simple models. It is shown that localized ow and the transition to localization are sensitive to deformation mode and conditions of processing or subsequent loading. Experimental data on texture evolution and tensile properties of ultra ne and ne grained aluminum alloy Al0.5Cu as well as dynamic recrystallization of high purity aluminum Al5N5 are presented for pure shear and simple shear deformation modes. These results comply with theoretical models. Tensile tests of ultra ne grained structures reveal two stages of localization, into a sample neck and inside a planar material layer. In contrast to ordinary materials, the second stage modies tensile loading and leads to different fracture mechanisms. 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Severe plastic deformation; Plastic ow mechanisms; Deformation mode; Shear band localization

1. Introduction Ultra ne grained (UFG) metals produced by severe plastic deformation (SPD) show many unusual properties. Plastic ow in these materials denes their strength, ductility, toughness, fatigue and other characteristics. Understanding of the corresponding mechanisms is important to interpret results of mechanical testing and to evaluate possible applications. Also, fabrication of useful products from bulk billets after SPD usually requires secondary forming operations with large plastic strains, such as forging, rolling and extrusion. In the more general context, processing and application of UFG materials at temperatures below the temperature of static recrystallization provide successive loading histories with similar deformation mechanisms that should be adequately described and analyzed. Despite the great interest in SPD during last years, these deformation mechanisms are still unclear. Large body of work with various SPD techniques and conditions presents different phenomenological models for development of high angle boundaries (HABs) and structure renement. Some of

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them extend the continuous evolution of dislocation structures by the crystallographic glide from low and moderate strains to very large strains [1,2]. An alternative approach describes SPD as discontinuous evolution due to localized ow inside shear bands (SBs) of non-crystallographic orientations [38]. It was also found that material fragmentation by rotation may play a signicant role [911] as well as diffusion ow, recovery and local boundary migration contributing to more equilibrium HABs [12,13]. For large plastic strains and non-monotonic deformation paths, all these mechanisms may act in different sequences. Typically, UFG structures fabricated by methods of SPD are within the sub-micron scale with the average grain size of more than 100 nm. During mechanical testing of such structures, they follow the normal HallPetch relation between ow stress and grain size like their coarse grained counterparts [14]. Therefore, ow mechanisms in UFG materials at the meso scale should be similar to mechanisms of crystallographic glide, shear band localization, fragments rotation and diffusion plasticity observed during SPD processing. Each of these mechanisms will provide different mechanical behavior. Clearly, their realization depends on conditions of macro loading and mechanisms of micro deformation.

0921-5093/$ see front matter 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.msea.2005.06.035


V.M. Segal / Materials Science and Engineering A 406 (2005) 205216

Gutkin et al. [15,16] reviewed numerous attempts to explain mechanical properties of UFG and nano materials by using physical mechanisms of plastic deformation. They suggested new dislocation and disclination models for lattice glide, grain boundary sliding and fragment rotation. However, there are a few principle problems for such physical description. As pointed out in Ref. [15], it is almost impossible to detect elementary deformation acts by experimental methods. In most cases, they are introduced as theoretical models. Statistics of dislocation ensembles are not known and should be also postulated. Moreover, the operation of different deformation mechanisms depends itself on conditions of macro loading that is especially difcult to take into account at the micro scale. The ordinary approach for these contradictions is comparison of calculated results for postulated models with experimental results. Hence, this theoretical downtop approach is still incapable to predict mechanical properties of UFG materials for different loading conditions, except some cases when the main deformation mechanism may be identied [17,18]. Usually, UFG materials are analyzed by TEM and EBSD techniques. These methods detect the nal structures after very large plastic deformations and cannot reveal the acting mechanisms during small deformation steps. Vinogradov et al. [19] applied atomic force microscopy to separate incremental and total strains in UFG metals and demonstrated that the shear band localization at the ne structural scale is the characteristic mechanism of plastic ow after SPD. Huang and Langdon [20] using the same method found that other ow mechanisms may be also observed at certain conditions. For crystallographic glide in polycrystals, it has been known since Taylors work [21] that continuum mechanics can be applied only to sufciently large grain aggregates, but not to individual grains. However, for localized micro ow in UFG materials, shear bands are thin and long in comparison with the grain size and they are oriented along the principle macro shear directions. These peculiarities allow one to extend the continuum mechanics description to the meso scale and to establish the correlation between ow mechanisms and loading characteristics. The corresponding

topdown approach silently includes the microstructural features of UFG materials manifesting HallPetch strengthening and localized ow and provides methodological advantages in analysis of mechanical properties in comparison with more physical downtop approach. Both approaches are not contradictory and should conjugate at the meso scale. Using this basis, the paper presents a theoretical and experimental investigation of the effect of deformation mode on plastic ow in UFG materials. A similar approach was applied earlier to examine structure renement during SPD [22].

2. Mechanisms of plastic ow in UFG metals Structural peculiarities of UFG metals are almost dislocation-free, equiaxed grains from a few microns to sub-micron size with extensive, non-equilibrium boundaries. Such structures are within a range between ordinary polycrystals and nano materials. In different circumstances, UFG metals exhibit properties similar to both of these. In particular, the mechanisms of plastic ow in UFG metals may manifest any of corresponding characteristics.

2.1. Crystallographic glide It is known the main mechanism of plastic ow in polycrystalline metals is a crystallographic glide. Taylor developed an upper-bound approach [21] for averaging of virtual states in grain aggregates by minimizing the dissipation of plastic work dW = min dt ( s vs f s ) (1)

here s and vs are the resolved shear stresses and glide velocities and fs is the area of dislocation glide on all active slip systems s. For a sufciently large grain aggregate inside a small material element (Fig. 1a), minimization (1) should accommodate macro-stressesstrain rates applied to element

Fig. 1. Material elements for: (a) continuous evolution and (b) localized ow.

V.M. Segal / Materials Science and Engineering A 406 (2005) 205216


boundaries min ( v f ) = i i w
s s s


where i and i are effective von Mises stress and strain rates, w is an element volume, bold indexes relate to continuum parameters. Eq. (2) establishes the correlation between continuum mechanics and crystal plasticity. For large plastic strains during SPD, elastic deformations are negligible and the simplest analysis of such rigid plastic materials may be performed by slip line theory related to the principal shear directions or macro slip lines [23]. Assuming uniform states and planar ow, slip lines and correspond to the Cartesian coordinate system ( , ) shown in Fig. 1a. Material elements along slip lines are subjected to the stress tensor T = { , k} and strain rate tensor T = { , } where is the mean stress component, k is the material yield shear stress, and are shear strain rates along and directions. The slip line theory was originally developed for ideal plastic materials with k = const, but it also incorporates plastic inhomogeneity when the yield stress is determined as a function of strains ( ), strain rates ( ) and temperature (T): k = k( , , T ). This constitutive equation should be determined experimentally. For UFG materials, that includes the HallPetch effect of grain size on yield stress. When expressed in terms of slip line directions, Eq. (2) becomes min ( s vs f s ) = 2k w (3)

dened and their shift within a grain diameter may significantly change local states in adjoining grains, but cannot alter the behavior of the entire grain aggregate. Such relaxed conditions result in the primary role of glide accommodation between all grains in accordance with a total element distortion rather than accommodation along boundaries. Physically, that means that during continuous ows, deformation mode may have a small effect on generalized characteristics of crystallographic glide like dislocation density or effective stressstrain but a strong effect on orientation characteristics like crystallographic texture. These conclusions comply with known experimental observations. In accordance with the general framework of evolution of dislocation structures [1,2], crystallographic glide in UFG metals manifests itself in grain subdivision, formation of geometrically necessary and accidental boundaries, distortion of grains along a ow direction, microstructural and textural hardening. For UFG metals fabricated by SPD with extremely high strains, microstructural hardening may be insignicant in comparison with textural hardening. 2.2. Localized ow If the material hardening ability disappears (dk/d 0), continuous ow becomes unstable and localized ow commences along shear bands [37]. A transition to localization is usually observed during production of UFG materials and the shear band formation is considered to be the dominant mechanism of structure renement during SPD [6,7,13,22,24]. At the nal stage, SPD should produce the nest stable structure that exhausts hardening and maximizes the ow stress at particular processing conditions. It is reasonable to expect that localization will take place at once during subsequent loadings of UFG materials. However, this situation may be changed for a few reasons. There is some natural or annealing recovery after SPD processing and in most cases, the loading temperature and strain rate are different from the prior characteristics during SPD. If these changes led to the decrease of the ow stress k, additional hardening at the beginning of loading alters localization to continuous crystallographic glide inside ultra ne grains. The subsequent ow mechanism depends on the deformation mode which has a strong effect on textural (geometrical) hardening. Fig. 2 presents a model for evolution of originally near random texture of UFG material [22] under pure shear (Fig. 2b) and simple shear (Fig. 2c). In these limiting cases, grains with stable orientations (dashed lines) [5] do not rotate and change their shape by crystallographic glide along and slip lines. Compatibility of strains in grains with unstable orientations 13 requires the reciprocal rotation of glide planes into the ow direction. Under pure shear, unstable orientations rotate to the rst principal stress direction 1 oriented at an angle 45 to slip lines. Such rotation is accompanied by the increase of the Schmid factor and textural hardening that delays localization. On the contrary, for simple shear, unstable orientations rotate to the slip line that decreases

where = ( + )/2 describes the intensity of plastic loading. Its distribution along slip lines denes the special character of straining or deformation mode. A tensor parameter of deformation mode was introduced in Ref. [22]. c = 2(1 + / )1 (4)

The coefcient c varies inside an interval 0 c 1 and expressed all possible strain rate states into slip line directions. Two limiting cases correspond to pure shear with c = 1 and simple shear with c = 0; for numerous intermediate states, 0 < c < 1. Parameters and c describe the strain rate tensor T = { , } = { , c} where = (2 c) , =c (5)

For assigned stresses ( , k), aggregate structure (s, fs ) and properties ( s ), Eq. (3) together with , c formulates boundary problems for the distribution of glide speeds vs in all grains inside the material element (Fig. 1a) at the considered moment. Although the uniqueness of the corresponding solutions is not clear, however, in any case, vs should be proportional to . It is necessary to note that the coefcient c is excluded from Eq. (3) and affects only boundary conditions. Because of the crystallographic nature, these conditions can be satised along element boundaries in average, but not locally at any point. Also, these boundaries are not strictly


V.M. Segal / Materials Science and Engineering A 406 (2005) 205216

Fig. 2. Stable crystallographic orientations at the: (a) original position; (b) after pure shear; (c) after simple shear.

the Schmid factor and lead to textural softening with early localization. Similar to amorphous materials, localization in UFG metals propagates through shear transformation zones of the structure. Hahn et al. [25] suggest that vicinities of grain boundaries are corresponding zones in nano crystals. Although average angles of grain boundary misorientations in UFG metals produced by SPD are usually less than 18 , Vinogradov et al. [19] found that the special structure of these boundaries together with an equiaxed grain shape provide channels for development of shear bands along macro slip lines. Therefore, material elements outlined by shear bands are subjected to continuum stresses and velocities at a very ne structural scale (Fig. 1b). Assuming the shear bands of thickness 2 and spacing 2h as a glide system with s = k, Eqs. (3) and (5) give for strain rates inside SBs: = h/ = (2 c) h/, = h/ = c h/ (6) The associated normal velocity components along shear bands are [22]: v = (2 c)h , v = ch . (7)

For simple shear (c = 0), the material particles are xed inside SBs and their strains increase in proportion with time = 2 ht/ = h/, =0 (11)

where is the accumulated macro shear during loading. As h (Fig. 1b), localized strains exceed continuum strains by many times. It is obvious that angles of misorientation between SBs and the surrounding material correlate with strains in Eqs. (10) and (11) irrespective of active slip systems inside shear bands. Consequently, once started, localization in UFG metals transforms SBs grain boundaries to high angle congurations [26] at strains that are smaller as c 0 (simple shear). Also, a multi-slip activity inside shear bands [27] promotes texture randomization [5]. At the macro-scale, the transition to localization may change the general character of plastic ow. 2.3. Rotation fragmentation When localization proceeds, the density of dislocations, vacancies and other defects near grain boundaries increases greatly. Similar to super plasticity, they result in multiply enhanced diffusivity. In result, the materials become sensitive to strain rate. Depending on the deformation mode, different strain rates inside SBs provide different tangential stresses acting on material elements outlined by SBs (Fig. 3): k = k( ), If = k = k( )

The time necessary for material particles to cross corresponding shear bands is t = 2/ hc , t = 2/(2 c)h (8)

During crossing, the material obtains shears of = t = 2(2 c)/c, = 2c/(2 c) (9)

, moments of these strains are not balanced (12)

Mo = 4h2 [k( ) k( )] = 0,

Eq. (9) demonstrates a strong effect of deformation mode on strains inside SBs. The limiting cases of pure shear and simple shear present the biggest practical interest. For pure shear (c = 1), = =2 (10)

and elements start to rotate with angular speed to restore the equilibrium. Consider kinematical conditions along a mutual boundary AA of two rotating elements 1 and 2 (Fig. 3). For the normal and tangential velocity components at conjugant points M1 and M2 , one may nd v

In this case, after crossing of shear bands, material particles ow through a regular grid of SBs and receive identical strains in intervals of time t = 2h/v = 1/ . Accumulated macro shears during this interval are = t = 2 that complies with Eq. (10). Therefore, for pure shear, equivalent strains = 2 spread gradually over the material similar to continuum ow.

= r sin = v 2 ,

[v] = v

= 2r cos = 2h = const

These formulae satisfy necessary conditions of continuity for normal velocity components and constancy of discontinuity for tangential velocity components at any points of the

V.M. Segal / Materials Science and Engineering A 406 (2005) 205216


Fig. 3. Boundary conditions for element rotation.

boundary [23]. Therefore, such rotations are admissible. The rotation induces an additional strain rate inside the shear band AA h = The full strain rate in the corresponding -SBs is = (c + )h (c )h (13)

A similar consideration gives the full strain rate inside -SBs. = (14)

points A , A and B , B to the point C for pure shear. Such consistent rotation of material elements does not change the crystallographic texture but redistributes strains inside SBs and develops high angle boundaries into both shear directions [10]. This effect is the strongest for simple shear and disappears for pure shear. Rotation fragmentation coupled with localization was experimentally observed in Refs. [9,11]. In addition, the enhanced grain boundary diffusivity in UFG metals promotes local migration and development of more stable and balanced grain congurations [12,28]. However, this small scale diffusion ow is supplementary to the plastic ow and will not be considered further in the paper.

Eqs. (13) and (14) together with Eq. (12) provide the balance of moments when = (1 c) (15)

3. Experimental results 3.1. Experimental procedure To verify some conclusions of the theory, special experiments were performed on the effect of deformation mode in UFG materials. Two limit cases of pure shear and simple shear were realized, correspondingly, in the central area of rolled samples and during equal channel angular extrusion (ECAE) with a tool angle 90 under carefully controlled conditions [22]. Equivalent von Mises strains between N passes ECAE and rolling reduction were calculated with a formula [22]: = [1 exp1 (1.15N)]100%. High accumulated strains were applied to two initial material conditions. For the UFG condition, the aluminum alloy Al0.5Cu was subjected to 6 ECAE passes via route D (billet rotation of 90 after each pass into the same direction) and route A (no rotation) that resulted in near uniform structure with an average grain size 0.5 m and medium texture strength (OD index 3.9). For the ne grain (FG) condition, the same ECAE processed material was annealed at 225 C,

This angular speed equalizes full strain rates in both families of SBs and reduces the local deformation mode to pure shear. During a time interval t, the rotation induces an additional angle of misorientation along shear bands = (1 c) (16)

where is the increase of continuum effective shear during the interval t. Eqs. (15) and (16) show a direct effect of deformation mode on rotation fragmentation during localization. In the limiting cases, angular speeds and misorientation angles are: = =0 for pure shear, for simple shear.

= , =

This analysis has an obvious graphical interpretation. A typical S-shape diagram k = k() is shown in Fig. 4 for simple shear (A), an intermediate state (B) and pure shear (C) where indexes , relate to corresponding SBs. The rotation shifts


V.M. Segal / Materials Science and Engineering A 406 (2005) 205216

Fig. 4. Strain rate distributions along shear bands during element rotation.

1 h to produce a statically recrystallized structure with the average grain size 20 m and a weak texture (OD index 2.2). Also, dynamic recrystallization was investigated in high pure aluminum Al5N5 (99.9995%) after rolling and ECAE. For comparison with results of continuum analysis, experimental data on macro texture, mechanical properties and microstructure were obtained. Crystallographic texture was measured using X-ray irradiation at Philip XPert Diffractometer with Beatrex software. Dynamic recrystallization was observed by optical microscopy. Standard tensile specimens 5 mm diameter and 25 mm length were used for tensile testing after ECAE. The tensile samples after rolling had the same length and width but a different thickness in accordance with rolling reductions. Fracture mechanisms after tensile tests were observed using SEM for FG and UFG materials in the as processed conditions and after recovery annealing at 125, 150 and 175 C for 1 h. Further details of experiments can be found elsewhere [22]. 3.2. Texture evolution During rolling of the FG material, the original texture (Fig. 5a) evolved to a symmetrical texture with the -ber running from the brass orientation to copper or, partly, to Dillamore orientations. This typical rolling texture is attained after a reduction of about 90% and remains stable with further rolling (Fig. 5b). For ECAE of the same material, there are numerous end orientations depending on number of passes and routes (Fig. 5c, 4 passes via route A). Similar changes were also observed for the UFG material. Despite different original orientations (Fig. 5d), the inverse pole gures of nal texture for the UFG and FG materials are identical both for

rolling (Fig. 5e) and ECAE (Fig. 5f). The OD index of texture strength (Fig. 6) for rolling of the FG material (diagram 1) shows the sharp increase to very strong texture (37 random) at reductions from 90 to 95% followed by the decrease of strength after reductions more than 97%. However, even at a reduction of 99.2%, the texture remains strong (11 times of random). Rolling of the UFG material demonstrates a nearly identical, but smoother change in texture strength (diagram 4) with the maximum OD index 13. For ECAE of the FG material, the texture strength (diagram 2) increases only slightly after two passes and then decreases gradually to near random texture. This tendency is even more obvious after ECAE of the UFG material (diagram 3). 3.3. Tensile properties Fig. 7 presents experimental data on the ultimate tensile strength (UTS, solid lines) and relative elongation (, dashed lines). Rolling of the FG material (diagram 1) with large reductions provides a signicant strengthening effect due to microstructural and textural hardening. ECAE of this material (diagram 2) shows noticeably lower UTS for accumulated strains larger than 2. Rolling of the UFG material (diagram 3) detects a low hardening effect for moderate reductions. For large reductions, hardening increases progressively to very high UTS for the Al0.5Cu alloy. These peculiarities reect specic structural changes that will be considered later. Characteristic changes were also observed for the relative elongation . The rolling of the FG material shows the decrease of at reductions less than 75%, some increase at reductions from 75 to 95% and nally, the sharp drop to low for large reductions. Possible reasons for such compli-

V.M. Segal / Materials Science and Engineering A 406 (2005) 205216


Fig. 5. Inverse pole gures for Al0.5Cu alloy: (a) original FG material; (b) FG material after rolling reduction 90%; (c) FG material after 4 passes ECAE, route A; (d) original UFG material; (e) UFG material after rolling reduction 90%; (f) UFG material after 4 passes ECAE, route A.

cated behavior are the evolution of texture strength (Fig. 6) and transition to thin samples for large rolling reductions. Identical experimental results after rolling of the UFG material are consistent with this conclusion. In contrast, ECAE of the FG material demonstrates the restoration of ductility between two and four passes and near constancy of ductility for a number of passes more than four. ECAE of the UFG

material provides about the same relative elongation for any number of passes. 3.4. Fracture mechanisms In all cases of recovery annealed UFG samples, the fracture mechanisms are identical. Typical pictures of top and side views of a sample neck after fracture are shown on Fig. 8a and b for the UFG material after annealing 175 C,

Fig. 6. Effect of equivalent strains on texture strength (OD index) after rolling of the FG material (curve 1), rolling of the UFG material (curve 4), ECAE of the FG material (curve 2); ECAE of the UFG material (curve 3).

Fig. 7. Effect of strains on ultimate tensile strength (UTS, solid lines) and relative elongation (, dashed lines) for the FG material (curve 1), ECAE of the FG material (curve 2); rolling of the UFG material (curve 3).


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Fig. 8. (a) Top and (b) side views of the sample neck after tensile test of the UFG Al0.5Cu alloy.

1 h. Fracture takes place inside a thin, planar shear zone at an angle 45 to the sample axis. There are three specic fracture areas (Fig. 8): (A) a free surface of the shear zone; (B) a dimpled fracture area; (C) a shear decohesion area. Under greater magnication, each area has the typical appearance for the corresponding fracture mechanism in ductile metals (Fig. 9ac) [29]. 3.5. Dynamic recrystallization It is known, that for the high purity aluminum Al5N5, the recrystallization temperature after large strains is below room temperature. That allows one to observe dynamically recrystallized structures and many details of plastic ow directly after severe deformation by optical microscopy [22]. The rst ECAE pass of the original coarse grained structure of Al5N5 (Fig. 10a) detects highly non-uniform micro-strains (Fig. 10b). Crystallographic glide in grain subdivided areas is the main ow mechanism. The microstructure also shows some shear bands and newly recrystallized grains reecting various stages of loading histories at different locations. During next ECAE passes, recrystallization takes place repeatedly rening and homogenizing the structure. After four

Fig. 9. Fracture mechanisms of the UFG Al0.5Cu alloy: (a) free surface of the planar shear zone; (b) dimpled area; (c) shear decohesion area.

passes, the structure is composed of uniform and equiaxial grains of the average diameter 75 m (Fig. 10c). This stable structure remains further almost unchanged and does not show any evidence of intra-granular ow complying with the grain boundary sliding and rotation mechanisms. However, a remarkable difference was observed during subsequent rolling of the ECAE processed material. Additional rolling reduction 15% after 6 ECAE passes changes the

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Fig. 10. Structures of aluminum Al5N5: (a) original condition; (b) 1 pass ECAE; (c) 4 passes ECAE, route A.

grain shape and develops slip lines inside grains, subdivided areas and sub-grains which are characteristics of crystallographic glide (Fig. 11a). After 30% rolling reduction, the structure is fully recrystallized to large non-uniform grains (Fig. 11b) which are quite similar to the original structure shown in Fig. 10a. Subsequent rolling provides numerous recrystallization sites with a gradual decrease in the grain size. Examples of such structures after reductions of 90 and 99.2% are shown in Fig. 11c and d. Although the nal structure is sufciently ne, only a few recrystallized grains may be observed in Fig. 11d. In most areas, this is the typical heavy deformed structure with diffuse boundaries, a large number of sub-grains and dislocation congurations inside grains. Rolling of the original material reveals a similar structure evolution.

4. Discussion The present analysis of UFG materials relies on the known mechanisms of plastic ow including crystallographic glide in grain subdivided areas, shear band localization and fragment rotation. The new result is the critical role of processing mechanics, in particular, deformation mode, on the realization of these mechanisms and their transitions at different stages of deformation. Experimental data obtained for the extreme cases of deformation mode and material microstructures agree with the main conclusions of the theory and provide some additional details. There is a large similarity in the inverse pole gures and nal texture orientations after rolling (Fig. 5b and e) and ECAE (Fig. 5c and f) for FG and UFG materials despite the diversity in the original textures


V.M. Segal / Materials Science and Engineering A 406 (2005) 205216

Fig. 11. Structure of high pure aluminum Al5N5 after 6 passes, route D and additional rolling with reductions; (a) 15%, (b) 30%, (c) 90%; (d) 99.2%.

(Fig. 5a and d). This similarity shows that systems of crystallographic glide depend on deformation mode irrespective of the grain size. The deformation mode shows the same strong effect on transition to localization even for the FG material. Fig. 6 illustrates the dramatic difference in the texture strength (OD index) for FG Al0.5Cu alloy after deformation by pure shear (diagram 1 for central area of rolling) and simple shear (diagram 2 for ECAE) with equivalent strains. Such behavior is difcult to explain by continuous evolution of dislocation structures because simple shear with rotation of unstable grain orientations into directions of stable orientations should provide stronger textures than pure shear. However, simple shear is accompanied by textural softening resulting in early localization and weak textures. Correspondingly, localized ow is realized at the beginning of simple shear in the UFG

material (Fig. 6, diagram 3 for ECAE). It is noticeable that an alteration of deformation mode to pure shear during rolling of the UFG structure restores the crystallographic glide and induces sufciently strong texture (Fig. 6, diagram 4 in the central area of rolling). Diagram 4 is similar to the corresponding diagram 1 for FG material but the texture strength is lower (maximum OD index 13 versus 37). Probably, during rolling of the UFG material mechanisms of shear band localization and fragment rotation contribute continuously to plastic ow and nally, provide the same balance with crystallographic glide as rolling of the FG material with large reductions. Similar observations were reported by Mishin and Gottstein [30]. Additional information on an affect of deformation mode is presented in Figs. 10 and 11 from experiments on dynamic recrystallization of high purity Al5N5. For the rst ECAE

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pass, the main deformation mechanism is crystallographic glide (Fig. 10b). The microstructure reveals different slip systems, grain subdivided areas and sub-grains with many dislocations, but only a few recrystallized grains and shear bands. During the second and third passes, the deformation mechanism changed to ow localization along shear bands. After the forth pass, the structure was composed of uniform, ne and equaxed grains (Fig. 10c). These grains grow near simultaneously at regular sites along slip lines. At subsequent passes, the structure remains stable, without noticeable changes in grain size, shape, orientation and without any traces of the intracrystalline ow. That suggests that grain rotation becomes an important mechanism for strain accommodation under severe straining by simple shear. Alteration of deformation mode to pure shear reveals a totally different microstructure evolution. Even 15% of additional rolling reduction after 6 passes of ECAE restores the crystallographic glide with strong strain non-uniformity inside grains (Fig. 11a). After 30% rolling reduction, a non-regular, stochastic distribution of recrystallization sites produces a coarse structure (Fig. 11b) that is only slightly ner than the original structure of Al5N (Fig. 10a). Subsequent rolling subjects this material to repeated recrystallizations with gradual microstructure renement (Fig. 11c for rolling reduction 90%). However, the very large rolling reduction of 99.2% still produces a typical heavy deformed structure with a small number of ne recrystallized grains (Fig. 11d). Therefore, in accordance with the theoretical analysis, in UFG materials pure shear promotes crystallographic glide whereas simple shear favors localized ow. Since shear bands may be considered as non-crystallographic slip systems, it follows from Eqs. (2) and (3) that the transition to localization minimizes the plastic work depending on resolved shear stresses s on glide planes and the ow stress k along shear bands. Tensile tests data after rolling and ECAE of FG and UFG materials (Fig. 7) provides further insight. At strains < 1.5, the plastic ow in the FG material corresponds to crystallographic glide in both cases and diagrams 1 and 2 for rolling and ECAE are identical. During rolling, this mechanism remains the same for strains > 2.5 with the continuous increase of the UTS because of both microstructural and textural hardening. For ECAE processed specimens, the ow mechanism transforms to shear band localization and structure renement to the submicron scale with an insignicant increase of shear stresses along SBs. Such tendency also occurs during ECAE of the UFG material up to large number of passes. In this case, material strengthening is provided by the HallPetch effect. However, during rolling of the UFG material when the deformation mode in the central area is changed to pure shear, the crystallographic glide again becomes the main ow mechanism (Fig. 7, diagram 3) providing a large strengthening effect by both HallPetch and structural hardening. Characteristic forms of localization and fracture were detected during tensile testing of standard cylindrical samples

Fig. 12. Plastic ow during tensile test of cylindrical samples: (a) uniform elongation; (b) axisymmetrical macro ow into the neck; (c) the beginning stage of planar shear micro localization; (d) the nite stage of planar localization; (e) fracture.

for the UFG material. At the beginning, the uniform elongation takes place along sample length with an axisymmetrical stressstrain state and a pure shear deformation mode (Fig. 12a). Depending on the available amount of hardening, this stage may be prolonged or very short with transition to plastic localization. For the UFG Al0.5Cu alloy processed by ECAE at room temperature and annealed at 175 C, 1 h, two stages of ow localization were observed. When the ow became unstable, deformation rst localizes in the sample neck (Fig. 12b). In a small neck area, the macro ow remained axisymmetrical and continuous. At some point, there was a second transition to micro localization inside a thin material layer at an angle 45 to the tensile direction (Fig. 12c). This planar layer was composed of a large number of micro-shear bands and the deformation mode changed to simple shear. Extended shear in the layer shifts the sample ends and causes eccentric loading by tensile forces and bending moments with the maximum tensile stresses at the left side of a shear zone in Fig. 12d. Ductile fracture initiated in this area by nucleation of voids at hard particles, followed by their growth and coalescence (area B, Fig. 12e). At the right side of the shear zone with signicantly lower tensile stresses, the fracture mechanism included void coalescence and material decohesion along shear planes (area C, Fig. 12e). These mechanisms are in full agreement with the experimental observation of corresponding areas A, B and C on Fig. 8. However, there is a distinctive difference from the fracture mechanism in ductile FG metals during tensile testing. In the FG metals, material separation at the sample neck developed by a dimpled crack propagated from outside the sample center in accordance with axisymmetrical ow [29]. The models considered and experimental results explain some contradiction in previous reports [19,20] on plastic ow mechanisms in UFG structures. In Ref. [19], UFG Cu and Ni were prepared by ECAE at room temperature. Subsequent tensile tests were also performed at room temperature with sufcient strain to develop ow localization at the neck. This specimen exhibited planar shear along SBs in the material layer with a simple shear deformation mode. Similar results


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were observed in [20] for the aluminum also fabricated and tested at room temperature beyond the limit of plastic stability. However, the Zn22%Al alloy fabricated by ECAE at temperature 200 C but tested at room temperature did not cause micro localization along SBs and showed the typical structure of crystallographic glide [20]. Despite the large incremental strain = 0.37, these conditions provided a sufciently strong hardening effect and stable ow under pure shear deformation mode without micro localization. It is interesting to note that the control of localization in UFG materials by reducing the testing temperature was recently suggested in Ref. [17].

Acknowledgements The author thanks S. Ferrasse and F. Alford for the help in performing experiments at Honeywell Electronic Materials. A special appreciation goes to Prof. T. Beiler (MSU) for useful discussion.

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5. Conclusions The present analysis shows that mechanical behavior of UFG metals may be explained by well known mechanisms of plastic ow rather than some special mechanism. These mechanisms suppose continuous or discontinuous strain distributions at the micro scale. The rst mechanism is a crystallographic glide in grain subdivided areas. The second mechanism is shear band localization and fragment rotation. The essential detail is the transition between continuous and localized ows. The suggested models show that the localized ow and transition to localization are very sensitive to deformation mode dened by a strain rate ratio along the principal shear directions. This effect is strongest for the simple shear deformation mode and innitesimal for the pure shear deformation mode. The transition to localization depends on shear stress stability during loading when microstructural and textural hardening disappears and dk/d 0. This transition is reversible if the deformation mode or hardening ability during the processing/loading path is changed. Dynamic recrystallization of Al5N5 during SPD complies with these observations as recrystallization sites relate to shear band localization. Tensile testing of UFG metals also exhibits specic properties. There are two stages of plastic localization: (i) macro localization in the sample neck and (ii) micro localization inside a thin planar layer. The transition to the planar localization modies the deformation mode from pure shear to simple shear and develops a stressstrain non-uniformity along a fracture surface. This causes different fracture mechanisms ranging from geometrical sample separation to dimpled fracture area and shear decohesion area.

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