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Scientists discover a new process for making high-strength metals

2020-02-27
Recently, Beijing High-Pressure Scientific Research Center obtained a new idea for high strength metal processing: high-pressure fine grain strengthening
Generally, the smaller the grain, the higher its strength. However, scientists have calculated through calculations that when the grains are refined to about 15 to 10 nanometers or less, the resilience of nanometals no longer increases, but instead decreases-showing a phenomenon of softening. For nanometals with more beautiful grains (less than 15 nanometers), whether the size will become softer or firmer has been a mystery. This is because traditional experimental methods face significant challenges in measuring the strength of such small materials.
The research team was the first to introduce a technique for geological mineral research into the compression deformation research of nanomaterials. They conducted a comparative study of the deformation of metal nickel under high pressure from 200 nm to 3 nm (a total of 8-grain sizes). They found that the compressive strength of metal nickel continued to increase as the grain size decreased. The force can reach ten times that of the traditional coin.
Further theoretical calculations and transmission electron microscopy measurements show that the dislocations that occur in samples below 20 nanometers and the significant suppression of plastic deformation at grain boundaries by high pressure are the keys to strengthening small-sized samples. Researchers have observed similar fine grain strengthening in two other metals, gold, and palladium. Therefore, this study provides a universal way to obtain high-strength metals-compressing nanometals to get high strength.
Previous studies have shown that nanocrystals are softened to a specific size. New research shows that compression can effectively suppress the plastic deformation of nano-grain boundaries, thereby suppressing softening, so high-strength nanometal materials can be obtained. So practical high-strength nanometals will soon be born.