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Microstructure evolution and mechanical behavior of a binary Al-7Mg alloy processed by equal-channel angular pressing


Achieving high strength and uniform deformation simultaneously in Al alloys processed by severe plastic deformation (SPD) remains a challenging task as these alloys usually possess high strength but very limited uniform deformability, i.e.<∼4%. In the present work, however, high strength (∼507 MPa) and large uniform elongation (∼11%) were achieved simultaneously in a binary Al alloy by using room-temperature equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) and a high solute Mg content. Detailed characterization by electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and delicate ASTAR-TEM orientation imaging has been carried out to reveal the microstructure evolution. It was found that it was difficult to form well-developed substructures in Al–7 Mg deformed by 1 pass or 2 passes of ECAP, in contrast to the pure Al and dilute Al–Mg alloys deformed under similar conditions, where well-aligned subgrains and cells are frequently formed. As a result, a bimodal grain structure, i.e. ultrafine/fine grains with mean sizes of < ∼500 nm were developed accompanied by micron-sized grains having a high dislocation density after 3 passes. The high strength is due to a combination of strengthening by the high density of dislocations, ultrafine grains and high solute Mg content. The high uniform elongation is due primarily to the enhanced work hardening resulted from the high solute Mg content and the bimodal grain structure, while the dynamic strain aging effect is supposed also to contribute to the high ductility. Most importantly, the present work revealed that inhomogeneous deformation during SPD introduced by high solid-solution contents can be utilized as a strategy to generate desirable bimodal grain structure, gaining both a high strength and high uniform ductility.


Academic article


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 192450




  • Min Zha
  • Yanjun Li
  • Ragnvald Mathiesen
  • Ruben Bjørge
  • Hans Jørgen Roven


  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Industry / Materials and Nanotechnology
  • University of Qatar



Published in

Acta Materialia




Pergamon Press




42 - 54

View this publication at Cristin