The precipitation strengthening of Cu alloys inevitably accompanies lowering of their electric conductivity and ductility. We produced bulk Cu alloys arrayed with nanofibers of stiff intermetallic compound through a precipitation mechanism using conventional casting and heat treatment processes. We then successfully elongated these arrays of nanofibers in the bulk Cu alloys to 400% of original length without breakage at room temperature using conventional rolling process. By inducing such an one-directional array of nanofibers of intermetallic compound from the uniform distribution of fine precipitates in the bulk Cu alloys, the trade-off between strength and conductivity and between strength and ductility could be significantly reduced. We observed a simultaneous increase in electrical conductivity by 1.3 times and also tensile strength by 1.3 times in this Cu alloy bulk compared to the conventional Cu alloys.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported principally by Global Frontier R and D Program (2013M3A6B1078874) on Global Frontier Hybrid Interface Materials R and D Center funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) [No. 2011-0030058].
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