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      Growth Twins and Deformation Twins in Metals

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          Ultrahigh strength and high electrical conductivity in copper.

          Methods used to strengthen metals generally also cause a pronounced decrease in electrical conductivity, so that a tradeoff must be made between conductivity and mechanical strength. We synthesized pure copper samples with a high density of nanoscale growth twins. They showed a tensile strength about 10 times higher than that of conventional coarse-grained copper, while retaining an electrical conductivity comparable to that of pure copper. The ultrahigh strength originates from the effective blockage of dislocation motion by numerous coherent twin boundaries that possess an extremely low electrical resistivity, which is not the case for other types of grain boundaries.
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            Deformation twinning

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              Revealing the maximum strength in nanotwinned copper.

              The strength of polycrystalline materials increases with decreasing grain size. Below a critical size, smaller grains might lead to softening, as suggested by atomistic simulations. The strongest size should arise at a transition in deformation mechanism from lattice dislocation activities to grain boundary-related processes. We investigated the maximum strength of nanotwinned copper samples with different twin thicknesses. We found that the strength increases with decreasing twin thickness, reaching a maximum at 15 nanometers, followed by a softening at smaller values that is accompanied by enhanced strain hardening and tensile ductility. The strongest twin thickness originates from a transition in the yielding mechanism from the slip transfer across twin boundaries to the activity of preexisting easy dislocation sources.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Materials Research
                Annu. Rev. Mater. Res.
                Annual Reviews
                1531-7331
                1545-4118
                July 2014
                July 2014
                : 44
                : 1
                : 329-363
                10.1146/annurev-matsci-070813-113304
                © 2014

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