It is well known that plastic deformation induced by conventional forming methodssuch as rolling, drawing or extrusion can significantly increase the strength of metalsHowever, this increase is usually accompanied by a loss of ductility. For example, Fig.1 shows that with increasing plastic deformation, the yield strength of Cu and Almonotonically increases while their elongation to failure (ductility) decreases. Thesame trend is also true for other metals and alloys. Here we report an extraordinarycombination of high strength and high ductility produced in metals subject to severeplastic deformation (SPD). We believe that this unusual mechanical behavior is causedby the unique nanostructures generated by SPD processing. The combination ofultrafine grain size and high-density dislocations appears to enable deformation by newmechanisms. This work demonstrates the possibility of tailoring the microstructures ofmetals and alloys by SPD to obtain both high strength and high ductility. Materialswith such desirable mechanical properties are very attractive for advanced structuralapplications.
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