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The brittle-to-ductile transition in cold-rolled tungsten sheets: the rate-limiting mechanism of plasticity controlling the BDT in ultrafine-grained tungsten

C. Bonnekoh, J. Reiser, A. Hartmaier, S. Bonk, A. Hoffmann, M. Rieth.

Journal of Materials Science, Springer Nature Switzerland AG, Cham (CH), 55, 12314–12337, (2020)

Abstract
Conventionally produced tungsten (W) sheets are brittle at room temperature.In contrast to that, severe deformation by cold rolling transforms W into a material exhibiting room-temperature ductility with a brittle-to-ductile transition (BDT) temperature far below room temperature. For such ultrafine-grained (UFG) and dislocation-rich materials, the mechanism controlling the BDT is still the subject of ongoing debates. In order to identify the mechanism controlling the BDT in room-temperature ductile W sheets with UFG microstructure, we conducted campaigns of fracture toughness tests accompanied by a thermodynamic analysis deducing Arrhenius BDT activation energies. Here, we show that plastic deformation induced by rolling reduces the BDT temperature and also the BDT activation energy. A comparison of BDT activation energies with the trend of Gibbs energy of kink-pair formation revealed a strong correlation between both quantities. This demonstrates that out of the three basic processes,nucleation, glide, and annihilation, crack tip plasticity in UFG W is still controlled by the glide of dislocations. The glide is dictated by the mobility of the screw segments and therefore by the underlying process of kink-pair formation. Reflecting this result, a change of the rate-limiting mechanism for plasticity of UFG W seems unlikely, even at deformation temperatures well below room temperature. As a result, kink-pair formation controls the BDT in W over a wide range of microstructural length scales, from single crystals and coarse-grained specimens down to UFG microstructures.


Cite as: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10853-020-04801-5
DOI: 10.1007/s10853-020-04801-5
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