Jiaqiang Li, Hongtao Zhang, Jingtai Sun, Huadong Fu, and Jianxin Xie, Design of low-alloying and high-performance solid solution-strengthened copper alloys with element substitution for sustainable development, Int. J. Miner. Metall. Mater.,(2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12613-024-2870-3
Cite this article as:
Jiaqiang Li, Hongtao Zhang, Jingtai Sun, Huadong Fu, and Jianxin Xie, Design of low-alloying and high-performance solid solution-strengthened copper alloys with element substitution for sustainable development, Int. J. Miner. Metall. Mater.,(2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12613-024-2870-3
Research Article

Design of low-alloying and high-performance solid solution-strengthened copper alloys with element substitution for sustainable development

+ Author Affiliations
  • Corresponding authors:

    Hongtao Zhang    E-mail: zht@ustb.edu.cn

    Jianxin Xie    E-mail: jxxie@mater.ustb.edu.cn

  • Received: 10 October 2023Revised: 21 January 2024Accepted: 27 February 2024Available online: 28 February 2024
  • Solid solution-strengthened copper alloys have the advantages of a simple composition and manufacturing process, high mechanical and electrical comprehensive performances, and low cost; thus, they are widely used in high-speed rail contact wires, electronic component connectors, and other devices. Overcoming the contradiction between low alloying and high performance is an important challenge in the development of solid solution-strengthened copper alloys. Taking the typical solid solution-strengthened alloy Cu–4Zn–1Sn as the research object, we proposed using the element In to replace Zn and Sn to achieve low alloying in this work. Two new alloys, Cu–1.5Zn–1Sn–0.4In and Cu–1.5Zn–0.9Sn–0.6In, were designed and prepared. The total weight percentage content of alloying elements decreased by 43% and 41%, respectively, while the product of ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and electrical conductivity (EC) of the annealed state increased by 14% and 15%. After cold rolling with a 90% reduction, the UTS of the two new alloys reached 576 and 627 MPa, respectively, the EC was 44.9%IACS and 42.0%IACS, and the product of UTS and EC (UTS × EC) was 97% and 99% higher than that of the annealed state alloy. The dislocations proliferated greatly in cold-rolled alloys, and the strengthening effects of dislocations reached 332 and 356 MPa, respectively, which is the main reason for the considerable improvement in mechanical properties.
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