Near-Perfect Elastoplasticity in Pure Nanocrystalline Copper

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Science  11 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5617, pp. 310-311
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081042

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Ductile metals and alloys undergo plastic yielding at room temperature, during which they exhibit work-hardening and the generation of surface instabilities that lead to necking and failure. We show that pure nanocrystalline copper behaves differently, displaying near-perfect elastoplastic behavior characterized by Newtonian flow and the absence of both work-hardening and neck formation. We observed this behavior in tensile tests on fully dense large-scale bulk nanocrystalline samples. The experimental results further our understanding of the unique mechanical properties of nanocrystalline materials and also provide a basis for commercial technologies for the plastic (and superplastic) formation of such materials.

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