Processing and Characterization of Extremely Hard and Strong Cu-(0-15 wt pct)Al Alloys

Abstract

The present work investigates the microstructure development and mechanical properties of mechanically alloyed and hot-pressed copper (Cu)-X wt pct aluminum (Al) (X = 0, 3, 5, 10, 15) alloys. The morphology of the ball-milled Cu-Al powders changed from coarse flaky structure to small hard agglomerates with the addition of Al. It was observed that the density of Cu-Al samples varied between ~ 95 and 98 pct of theoretical density (ρth) after hot pressing (Temperature: 500 °C, Pressure: 500 MPa, Time: 30 min). The crystallite size of Cu-Al samples decreased for both the milled powders and hot-pressed samples. The XRD and SEM-EDS analyses of the hot-pressed samples confirmed the presence of α-Cu solid solution phases for the Cu alloyed with Al up to 5 wt pct. On the other hand, further addition of Al to Cu leads to the formation of both intermetallic compound (Cu9Al4) and solid solution phase. The nano-indentation tests indicated a significant increase in hardness (2.4 to 7.9 GPa) and elastic modulus (121.1 to 177.4 GPa) of Cu-Al alloys. The Cu-Al alloys were measured with very high compressive strength (813.8 to 1120.2 MPa) and the compressive strain varied in the range of 29.81 to 5.81 pct.

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Funding

Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India is gratefully acknowledged for the financial support to procure hot press equipment under plan grants (Departmental Plan-Grant Funds Code No: P828) that is used in the present work.

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Correspondence to Brahma Raju Golla.

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Manuscript submitted April 24, 2019.

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Shaik, M.A., Golla, B.R. & Pitchuka, S.B. Processing and Characterization of Extremely Hard and Strong Cu-(0-15 wt pct)Al Alloys. Metall Mater Trans A 51, 708–724 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11661-019-05545-x

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