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Mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline Cu and Pd

  • G.W. Nieman (a1), J.R. Weertman (a1) and R.W. Siegel (a2)

This report gives results of a study of the bulk mechanical properties of samples of nanocrystalline Cu and Pd consolidated from powders prepared by inert gas condensation. Fourier analysis x-ray diffraction techniques, used to determine average grain size and mean lattice strains of the as-consolidated samples, show grain sizes in the range of 3–50 nm and lattice strains ranging from 0.02–3%. Sample densities range from 97–72% of the density of a coarse-grained standard. Microhardness of the nanocrystalline samples exceeds that of annealed, coarse-grained samples by a factor of 2–5, despite indications that sample porosity reduces hardness values below the ultimate value. Uniaxial tensile strength of the nanocrystalline samples is similarly elevated above the value of the coarse-grained standard samples. Restrictions on dislocation generation and mobility imposed by ultrafine grain size are believed to be the dominant factor in raising strength. Residual stress may also play a role. Room temperature diffusional creep, predicted to be appreciable in nanocrystalline samples, was not found. Instead, samples appear to show logarithmic creep that is much smaller than the predicted Coble creep.

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Journal of Materials Research
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