Experiments were conducted to investigate the development of an ultra-fine grain size during equal-channel angular (ECA) pressing of high purity aluminum with an initial grain size of ∼1.0 mm. The results show that, under ECA pressing conditions giving a strain of ∼1.05 on each passage through the die, the microstructure is reasonably homogeneous after a single pressing and consists of parallel bands of elongated subgrains, having an average length of ∼4 μm, and these subgrains are further divided by boundaries with very low angles of misorientation. Repetitive pressings were conducted on the same samples, up to a total of 10 passages through the die, with the samples pressed either without rotation (route A) or after rotating through 180° between each pressing (route C). It is demonstrated that the misorientations of the subgrain boundaries increase with repetitive pressings until ultimately both routes lead to a similar equiaxed ultra-fine grain size of ∼1 μm after 10 pressings, but the microstructural evolution is enhanced using route C where there is a more rapid transition into an array of high angle grain boundaries. The results suggest that, at least for high purity aluminum, an ultra-fine microstructure close to optimum may be obtained after only 4 pressings provided the sample is rotated through 180° between each pressing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes