2009 Volume 50 Issue 7 Pages 1613-1619
The processing of metals through the application of severe plastic deformation leads to significant grain refinement and provides an opportunity for achieving superior properties. The two procedures of equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) and high-pressure torsion (HPT) are examined with emphasis on the mechanical properties at low and high temperatures and the nature of the grain refinement. It is demonstrated that grain refinement occurs relatively homogeneously in f.c.c metals through the formation of dislocation cells or subgrains and the evolution of these cells into an array of ultrafine grains separated by high angle boundaries. By contrast, grain refinement in h.c.p. metals such as magnesium is inhomogeneous and occurs through the nucleation of new grains along the initial grain boundaries due to the high stresses generated to activate multiple slip systems. Ultrafine-grained metals generally exhibit high strength but they may exhibit weakening if the processing conditions adversely affect the precipitate morphology. If the ultrafine grains are stable at high temperatures there is a possibility of achieving excellent superplastic properties.