Superplastic behaviour of microcrystalline materials is now believed to be controlled by cooperative grain boundary sliding (CGBS). An increasing role of grain boundary mediated plasticity with decreasing grain size down to the nanoscale was predicted leading to the prospect of enhanced superplasticity in nanocrystalline materials. Nevertheless, materials with nanosized grains have revealed a significant decrease in plasticity contrary to theoretical prediction. Direct evidence of CGBS in nanocrystalline Ni3Al alloy from SEM surface analysis and in-situ TEM tensile testing was detected, confirming one similarity in the rheology of deformation processes between micro- and nanomaterials. Thus, differences in deformation behaviour of materials at these two length scales are related to the probability of sliding surface formation, sliding distance and related accommodation mechanisms.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This investigation is supported by NSF, Division of Materials Research (grant NSF-DMR-0240144) and the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (Proposal #257 for electron microscopy support).