Development of manufacturing systems for nanocrystalline and ultra-fine grain materials employing indexing equal channel angular pressing

by Michael Wayne Hester

Institution: Mississippi State University
Department: Industrial and Systems Engineering
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: industrial engineering; severe plastic deformation; grain size; materials; nanotechnology; manufacturing; designed experiments
Record ID: 2057965
Full text PDF: http://sun.library.msstate.edu/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-03022015-014931/


Nanotechnology offers significant opportunities in providing solutions to existing engineering problems as well as breakthroughs in new fields of science and technology. In order to fully realize benefits from such initiatives, nanomanufacturing methods must be developed to integrate enabling constructs into commercial mainstream. Even though significant advances have been made, widespread industrialization in many areas remains limited. Manufacturing methods, therefore, must continually be developed to bridge gaps between nanoscience discovery and commercialization. A promising technology for integration of top-down nanomanufacturing yet to receive full industrialization is equal channel angular pressing, a process transforming metallic materials into nanostructured or ultra-fine grained materials with significantly improved performance characteristics. To bridge the gap between process potential and actual manufacturing output, a prototype top-down nanomanufacturing system identified as indexing equal channel angular pressing (I<sub>X</sub>-ECAP) was developed. The unit was designed to capitalize on opportunities of transforming spent or scrap engineering elements into key engineering commodities. A manufacturing system was constructed to impose severe plastic deformation via simple shear in an equal channel angular pressing die on 1100 and 4043 aluminum welding rods. 1/4 fraction factorial split-plot experiments assessed significance of five predictors on the response, microhardness, for the 4043 alloy. Predictor variables included temperature, number of passes, pressing speed, back pressure, and vibration. Main effects were studied employing a resolution III design. Multiple linear regression was used for model development. Initial studies were performed using continuous processing followed by contingency designs involving discrete variable length work pieces. I<sub>X</sub>-ECAP offered a viable solution in severe plastic deformation processing. Discrete variable length work piece pressing proved very successful. With three passes through the system, 4043 processed material experienced an 88.88% increase in microhardness, 203.4% increase in converted yield strength, and a 98.5% reduction in theoretical final grain size to 103 nanometers using the Hall-Petch relation. The process factor, number of passes, was statistically significant at the 95% confidence level; whereas, temperature was significant at the 90% confidence level. Limitations of system components precluded completion of studies involving continuous pressing. Proposed system redesigns, however, will ensure mainstream commercialization of continuous length work piece processing.