Precipitation studies on alloys from the system copper chromium zirconium

  • B. Lynch

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The precipitation reactions occurring in a series of copper-based alloys selected from the system copper-chromium-zirconium have been studied by resistometric and metallographic techniques.
    A survey of the factors influencing the development of copper-based alloys for high strength, high conductivity applications is followed by a more general
    review of contemporary materials, and illustrates that the most promising alloys are those containing chromium and zirconium. The few systematic attempts to study alloys from this system have been collated, discussed, and used
    as a basis for the selection of four alloy compositions viz:-
    Cu - 0.4% Cr
    Cu - 0.24. Zr
    Cu - 0. 3% Cr - 0.1% Zr
    Cu - 0.2% Cr - 0.2% Zr
    A description of the experimental techniques used to study the precipitation behaviour of these materials is preceeded by a discussion of the currently accepted theories relating to precipitate nucleation and growth.
    The experimental results are presented and discussed for each of the alloys independently, and are then treated jointly to obtain an overall assessment of
    the way in which the precipitation kinetics, metallography and mechanical properties vary with alloy composition and heat treatment.
    The metastable solid solution of copper-chromium is found to decompose by the rejection of chromium particles which maintain a coherent interface and a Kurdjumov-Sachs type crystallographic orientation relationship with the
    copper matrix. The addition of 0.1% zirconium to the alloy retards the rate of transformation by a factor of ten and modifies the dispersion characteristics of the precipitate without markedly altering the morphology.
    Further additions of zirconium lead to the growth of stacking faults during ageing, which provide favourable nucleation sites for the chromium precipitate. The partial dislocations bounding such stacking faults are also found to provide mobile heterogeneous nucleation sources for the precipitation reactions occurring in copper-zirconium.
    Date of AwardAug 1968
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJ.A. Belk (Supervisor)


    • precipitation
    • alloys
    • copper
    • chromium
    • zirconium

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