Hierarchical nanostructured aluminum alloy with ultrahigh strength and large plasticity
G Wu and C Liu and LG Sun and Q Wang and BA Sun and B Han and JJ Kai and JH Luan and CT Liu and K Cao and Y Lu and LZ Cheng and J Lu, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 10, 5099 (2019).
High strength and high ductility are often mutually exclusive properties for structural metallic materials. This is particularly important for aluminum (Al)-based alloys which are widely commercially employed. Here, we introduce a hierarchical nanostructured Al alloy with a structure of Al nanograins surrounded by nano-sized metallic glass (MG) shells. It achieves an ultrahigh yield strength of 1.2 GPa in tension (1.7 GPa in compression) along with 15% plasticity in tension (over 70% in compression). The nano-sized MG phase facilitates such ultrahigh strength by impeding dislocation gliding from one nanograin to another, while continuous generation-movement-annihilation of dislocations in the Al nanograins and the flow behavior of the nano-sized MG phase result in increased plasticity. This plastic deformation mechanism is also an efficient way to decrease grain size to sub-10 nm size for low melting temperature metals like Al, making this structural design one solution to the strength-plasticity trade-off.
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