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Key Engineering Materials Vols. 345-346 (2007) pp.

online at http://www.scientific.net
(2007) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland

Serrated Flow Behavior in 2090 Al-Li Alloy

Yin Zhong Shen1, a, Kyu Hwan Oh2,b and Dong Nyung Lee2,3,c

Nuclear Materials Technology Development Division, Korea Atomic Research Institute,

Daejeon 305-353, Korea; formerly with Seoul National University

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744, Korea

Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang,
Kyungbuk 790-784, Korea

shenliu8@snu.ac.kr, bkyuhwan@snu.ac.kr, cdnlee@snu.ac.kr

Keywords: 2090 Al-Li alloy, texture, precipitates, dynamic strain aging, serrated flow

Abstract. Flow behavior of the surface and center layers of solution-treated, peak-aged, or
reversion-treated 2090 Al-Li alloy specimens has been reviewed and discussed in terms of
microstructures and textures.
Tensile specimens cut from a 2090 Al-Li alloy plates that were solution-treated, peak-aged, or
reversion-treated show unusual mechanical behavior [1-4]. The flow stress of the center layer of the
plate was higher than that of the surface layer, regardless of the heat treatments. The textures of the
surface-layer specimens were approximated by the {001}<110> orientation, whereas those of the
center-layer specimens were approximated by the {011}<211> orientation. Both the surface- and
center-layer specimens of the solution-treated alloy gave rise to extensive serrations. For the peakaged alloy with spherical precipitates, the surface-layer specimen underwent serrated flows,
whereas the flow curves of the center-layer specimen were devoid of serration. Serrated flows
occurred in both the surface- and center-layer specimens of reversion-treated alloy with plate-like
T1 precipitates. These results are briefly discussed.
Experimental procedures
The material used in this study was a near peak-aged 2090-T81 Al-Li alloy (2.05% Li, 2.86% Cu,
0.12% Zr, balance Al) plate of 12.7 mm in thickness, produced by Alcoa, UK. Specimens of
1625 mm3 in gauge dimension were tensioned along the rolling direction, with the width
direction along the transverse direction. The specimens were subjected to three different heattreatments: solution treatment at 550 C for 30 min, peak-aging at 190 C for 18 h following
solution treatment, and reversion treatment at 275 C for 2 min following peak-aging. No serration
could be detected when the stress drop in serrated flow was lower than 0.5 MPa. The texture of
specimens was measured with an x-ray texture goniometer in the back reflection mode with Nifiltered Cu-K radiation. The (111), (200), and (220) partial pole figures were measured, from
which the orientation distribution functions (ODFs) were calculated [5].
Results and Discussion
Microstructures. Fig. 1 shows dark-field TEM micrographs of the heat-treated specimens. A
number of very fine particles in the solution treated specimen (Fig. 1a) are thought to be (Al3Li)
precipitates because precipitation takes place during quenching from the solution treatment
temperature or rapidly at room temperature [6]. The white particles in the TEM micrograph of the
peak-aged specimen are precipitates having L12 crystal structure (Fig. 1b). It is also known that
the phase is fully coherent and has a very small lattice mismatch with the fcc matrix [7]. The
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The Mechanical Behavior of Materials X

white streaks in the reversion-treated specimen are plate-like T1 (Al2CuLi) precipitates (Fig. 1c).
This reversion treatment indicates that the precipitates formed during peak-aging have been
dissolved out completely, and T1 precipitates became the dominant precipitate phase. The T1 phase
forms as thin plates on the {111} matrix planes with an orientation relationship of {0001}T1//{111}
and <1 0-1 0>T1//<-110> [6].

100 nm
Fig.1. Dark-field TEM micrographs of (a) solution-treated, (b) peak-aged, and (c) reversion-treated
2090 Al-Li alloys.




(1) Peakaged (C)

(2) Peakaged (S)
(3) Reversion-treated (C)
(4) Reversion-treated (S)
(5) Solution-treated (C)
(6) Solution-treated (S)










Fig. 2. ODFs of solution-treated surface (left)

and center (right) layers of Al-Li alloy plate.

2090 Al-Li Alloy

-4 -1
Tension : 2 x 10 s , 25 C







Strain (%)

Fig. 3. Stress-strain curves of peak-aged, reversion-treated, and solution-treated center

(C) and surface (S) layer specimens of 2090 Al-Li alloy plate at initial strain rate of 2
10-4 s-1 at 25 oC.
Textures. Fig. 2 shows the orientation distribution functions (ODFs) of the solution-treated,
surface- and center-layer specimens. The textures of peak-aged and reversion-treated specimens
were the same as the ODFs in Fig.2. The textures of the surface- and center-layer specimens are
approximated by the {001}<110> and {011}<211> orientations, respectively. The {001}<110>
orientation is a major component in shear deformation texture of fcc alloys, and the {011}<211>
orientation is a major texture component in plane strain compressed fcc metals. The texture results
indicate that the surface and center layers of the plate underwent shear strain and plane-strain
deformation, respectively, during rolling.
Higher flow stresses of center layers. Fig. 3 shows the tensile stress-strain curves of heattreated specimens. The flow stresses of the center layers are higher than those of the surface layers
regardless of the different heat-treatments. For an fcc single crystal, the yield stresses under a
tensile stress along the [110] and [112] axes will be same, because the largest Schmid factors for the
two axes are all 6/6 (Table 1). However, for an fcc polycrystalline material with a well developed
texture, its yield behavior will not be controlled only by slip systems with the largest Schmid
factors. Lee and Oh [8] calculated the plastic anisotropy of polycrystalline metals by assuming that
all the slip systems contributed to the deformation but that their contributions were proportional to

Key Engineering Materials Vols. 345-346


their Schmid factors. Similarly, the yield stress or flow stress of a polycrystalline may be calculated
Table 1. Calculated Schmid factors for tensile axes of [110] and [112] of fcc crystal having
{111}<110> slip systems.
Slip plane
1-1 1
1 1-1
Slip direct.
[110] axis

-110, 1 0-1, 0 1-1

0 6/6 6/6
0 6/9 6/9

[112] axis


110, 101, 0 1-1


110, 1 0-1, 011


6/9 6/6 6/18 6/9 6/18 6/6

= c M avg

-110, 101, 011

0 6/6 6/6


where , c , n, and mi are the flow stress, the critical resolved shear stress, the total number of
active slip systems, and the reciprocal of the Schmid factor on the ith slip system, respectively. The
flow stresses for the tensile axes of [110] and [112] are respectively given by [110] = 6c/6 and
[112] = 8c/6, neglecting the Schmid factor of 6/18 because of its smaller value compared with
6/9 and 6/6. Therefore, we obtain [112]/[110] = 1.33, which is in qualitative agreement with the
experimental result.
Serrated flows of solution-treated specimens. Severe serrated flows occurred in both the S and
C specimens of solution-treated alloy (curves 5 and 6). The serrated flow is attributed mainly to
dynamic strain aging (DSA) as evidenced by other experimental results [4].
Flows behavior of peak-aged specimens. The peak-aged S specimen shows serration (Curve 2
in Fig. 3), whereas flow curve of the C specimen is devoid of serration (Curve 1 in Fig. 3). The
serration is due to shearing of precipitates rather than DSA as evidenced by other experimental
results [4] because the dissolved lithium concentration is reduced. When the (001)[110] oriented S
specimen is elongated, it can be supposed that the (111)[1 0-1], (111)[1 1-1], (1 1-1)[101], and (1 11)[011] slip systems are equally activated because the Schmid factors on the systems are the same,
and dislocations pile up on the slip planes at spherical precipitates. When the stress on the
dislocation at the head of the dislocation pile-up reaches the shear yield stress of the precipitates,
the precipitates are sheared, resulting in the stress drop.
Fig. 4. For primary (1st) slip system
having 6/6 in Schmid factor being
activated, dislocations pile up at
spherical particle. When stress on
dislocation at head (A) of dislocation
pile-up reaches shear yield stress of
precipitates, precipitates are sheared,
resulting in stress drop.  does not
necessarily mean edge dislocation.






Fig. 5. (a) Corners A, B, C, D of

tetrahedron and their opposite
faces , , , .
(b) -plane is on glide plane
(dark plane), while other planes
(, , ) are at 70.5H to glide


The Mechanical Behavior of Materials X

However, tensile straining of the (0-1 1)[211] oriented C specimen activates the (111)[1 0-1],
(111)[0 1-1], (-111)[110], (-111)[101], (1-1 1)[110], and (1-1 1)[011] slip systems as already
discussed. The slip systems for which the Schmid factor is 6/6 will first be activated. If the slip
systems for which the Schmid factor is 6/9 are activated by cross slip before the stress on the
dislocation pile-up on the first slip systems reaches the shear yield stress of the precipitates, the
particles are not likely to be sheared (Fig. 4), resulting in no serration. This may be the case of the
flow curve of the C specimen. This does not negate the possibility of shearing of the precipitates. If
a sufficient number of precipitates are not sheared, the serration cannot be detected.
The smaller elongation of the peak-aged C specimen implies that dislocations on the slip systems
with the smaller Schmid factors are difficult to shear precipitates without cracking because the
precipitates associated with the smaller Schmid factors are subjected to higher tensile stresses than
those with the larger Schmid factors.
Serrated flows of reversion-treated specimens. For the reversion-treated specimen, serrated
flows are observed even in the C specimen (Curve 3 in Fig. 3) as well as in the S specimen (Curve 4
in Fig. 3). This behavior is related to shearing of precipitates as evidenced by other experimental
results [4]. Since the T1 precipitates form as thin plates on the {111} matrix planes, gliding
dislocations are likely to meet the T1 precipitates on four different {111} planes, that is, (111),
( 1 11 ), ( 1 1 1 ), and ( 11 1 ) as schematically shown in Fig. 5. A gliding dislocation bypasses the
precipitates lying on its glide plane by multiple cross slip or by leaving loops around them because
of their thin plate-like characteristics, while some parts of it are likely to meet the precipitates lying
on at least one of the remaining three different {111} planes. These precipitates are likely to be
sheared because of their thin cross-sections. The distribution of the {111} planes is not sensitive to
the orientation of specimen. Therefore, unlike the peak-aged specimens, the serration is observed
even in the reversion-treated center-layer specimens.
The higher flow stress of the center layer compared with that of the surface layer is caused by
differences in texture between the two different layers. The severe serrated flow behavior in the
solution-treated specimens is attributed mainly to dynamic strain aging, whereas the serrated flow
behavior in the peak-aged and reversion-treated specimens are mainly caused by shearing of
precipitates. The serrated flow in the surface layer and no serration in the center layer of peak-aged
specimen are ascribed to a lower probability of shearing of precipitates in the center layer due to
easier cross slip unlike the reversion-treated specimens.
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[6] M.H Tosten, A.K. Vasudvan and P.R. Howell: Metall. Trans. Vol. A 19 (1988), p. 51
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[8] D.N. Lee and K.H. Oh: J. Mater. Sci. Vol. 20 (1985), p. 3111