Age hardened copper alloys represent an important class of materials for high electrical and thermal conductivity applications such as electrodes for spot welding, conducting springs and various heat sinks and also for nonspark tools in the petroleum and chemical industries. One potential route for improving the properties in alloys not containing beryllium is through rapid solidification into thin sections followed by consolidation to a bulk form.
It had been demonstrated that chill block melt spinning (CBMS) of copper chromium and copper zinc alloys into thin ribbons gave a substantial enhancement of solid solubility over the maximum values achievable by conventional solid state quenching. Consequently, on ageing, corresponding enhancements in strength occurred, in combination with high electrical conductivities. Such ductile, microcrystalline ribbon is not a practically useful form since it cannot conveniently be consolidated to bulk. Thus, it was proposed to rapidly solidify the copper alloys to a powder form by water atomization, which is a relatively inexpensive process, and to consolidate them into a rod form by warm extrusion of the vacuum canned powder.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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