Stress-driven grain refinement in a microstructurally stable nanocrystalline binary alloy

K. A. Darling, S. Srinivasan, R. K. Koju, B. C. Hornbuckle, J. Smeltzer, Y. Mishin, K. N. Solanki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Deformation-induced grain-growth in nanocrystalline materials is a widely-reported phenomenon that has been attributed to grain boundary (GB) processes. In this paper, we report on the opposite phenomenon, wherein a stable nanocrystalline (NC) Cu-Ta alloy undergoes a further refinement of the nano-grains during severe plastic deformation (SPD). SPD up to 250% results in a significant grain-size reduction despite the 350°C increase in temperature caused by the deformation process. Experiments and atomistic-simulations show that this unexpected grain-refinement is a direct result of well-dispersed Ta-nanoclusters throughout grain centers and along GBs acting as kinetic-pinning agents and suppressing GB processes that occur during recrystallization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalScripta Materialia
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021


  • Grain refinement
  • Nanocrystalline material
  • Recrystallization
  • Thermally stable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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