In the present study defect-free nanocrystalline (nc) Ni–Co alloys with the Co content ranging from 2.4–59.3% (wt.%) were prepared by pulse electrodeposition. X-ray diffraction analysis shows that only a single face-centred cubic solid solution is formed for each alloy and that the grain size reduces monotonically with increasing Co content, which is consistent with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations. In the nc Ni–Co alloys, both the ultimate tensile strength and the elongation to failure increase as the Co content increases. The TEM observations reveal that stress-induced grain growth during tensile deformation is significantly suppressed for the nc Ni–Co alloys rich in Co in sharp contrast to those poor in Co. We believe that sufficient solutes could effectively pin grain boundaries making grain boundary motions (e.g. grain boundary migration and/or grain rotation) during deformation more difficult. Thus, stress-induced grain growth is greatly suppressed. At the same time, shear banding plasticity instability is correspondingly delayed leading to the enhanced ductility.
Volume 43, 2020
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