The effect of heavy deformation on the precipitation in an Al-1.3Cu-1.0Mg-0.4Si wt.% alloy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This work has investigated the effect of the combination of natural ageing and 80% pre-deformation after solution heat treatment on precipitation during subsequent artificial ageing in an Al-1.3Cu-1.0Mg-0.4Si wt.% alloy. It was found that a combined use of atomic resolution aberration corrected high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy and scanning precession electron diffraction enabled a detailed characterisation of precipitates in heavy pre-deformed materials. The dominant phase in the undeformed condition was the L phase. L was also found to be nucleated in the undistorted regions of the Al matrix in the pre-deformed conditions. Two phases with high aspect ratios were nucleated on dislocations: The C phase and a previously reported phase, which we named here the ‘E phase’. The crystal structure of E was solved experimentally as monoclinic with core composition Mg6Al2Si2Cu4, supported by density functional theory calculations. It was determined that the order of pre-deformation and natural ageing had an influence on the relative fractions of the aforementioned phases formed during artificial ageing. An increased fraction of C+E relative to L was found in the condition where the pre-deformation was applied after natural ageing as compared to the condition where the pre-deformation was applied before natural ageing.