Effect of solute clusters on stress relaxation behavior in Cu-Ni-P alloys
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In this study, the ultrafine structures in Cu-P and Cu-Ni-P alloys have been characterized using a three-dimensional atom probe (3DAP) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the stress relaxation behavior of these alloys has been explored. The results show that low-temperature annealing greatly improved the stress relaxation performance, especially in the Cu-Ni-P alloys. The presence of Ni-P clusters in the Cu-Ni-P alloys has been revealed. The overall improvement in properties has been analyzed in terms of variations in the dislocation density and solute atom cluster density within these materials. It is shown that clusters with small average spacing give rise to significant improvements in the stress relaxation performance, without requiring significant change in the dislocation density. © 2009 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International.
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