Achieving excellent microformability in aluminum by engineering a unique ultrafine-grained microstructure
A. Dhal, S. K. Panigrahi & M. S. Shunmugam
Scientific Reportsvolume 9, Article number: 10683 (2019) | Download Citation

During microforming of conventional materials, specimen and microstructural length-scales are close to each other. This leads to an abnormal deformation behavior of the material and reduces microformability. Engineering ultrafine-grained (UFG) microstructure in the material is a possible solution. However, micro-scale deformation behavior of UFG material is not fully understood. Present work attempts to comprehensively investigate the micro-scale deformation of four distinctly engineered microstructures: UFG with residual dislocations and elongated grains, UFG free of residual dislocation with equiaxed grains, bimodal-grained and coarse-grained. The deformation behavior is captured via micro-scale uniaxial tensile test and micro-deep drawing operation. Micro-cups generated from UFG material with equiaxed grains show excellent surface quality, form-accuracy and minimal process scatter. Postmortem microscopy of the formed micro-cups attributes this improved microformability to the activation of grain boundary-mediated plasticity in the material which results in synergetic grain migration and rotation. Presence of residual dislocations and elongated grains hinders the grain migration and rotation leading to strain localization and thinning. In case of bimodal and coarse-grained material, cross-slip based deformation mode progressively dominates over grain migration and rotation, which results in a reduction in microformability due to the influence of size-effect.

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