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Microstructure and mechanical properties of model Al – Li alloys treated by SPD

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Several commercial aluminum alloys are targeted to be advanced materials for aerospace technology due to their low density, high strength and high elastic modulus, as well as excellent fatigue properties. Since the reduction of density is one of the main requirements of modern materials used in aerospace applications, the aluminium- -lithium alloys became more attractive than conventional aluminium alloys [1÷3]. Studies on Al-Li alloys intended for aerospace applications have long been carried out, and numerous papers on this subject have been published [4, 5]. Several commercial aluminium alloys have been designed to take advantage of the attributes of lithium, which is the only alloying element that increases the strength and modulus while decreasing the density of the alloy. However, the existing commercial alloys containing lithium were designed to be relatively strong, so that they also contain the usual alloying elements that ensure precipitation strengthening [6÷8]. Therefore, although the microstructure and mechanical properties of Al-Li alloys have been extensively studied before, they have still been a subject of importance in the recent years. This is connected with new properties of the materials subjected to severe plastic deformation (SPD) and with their commercial applications. The major advantage of SPD techniques is their ability to produce micrometer size subgrains within the originally coarse grains of materials and alloys [9÷12]. In the present work the evolution of microstructure and mechanical properties of three aluminum-lithium alloys were examined. The materials with an ultra fine structure produced by hydrostatic extrusion were compared with these materials in the initial state. ma [...]

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