Processing by twist extrusion was used to produce copper billets with a hexagonal cross-section. A special feature of the billets is their gradient microstructure owing to a specific strain pattern: an undeformed core and a deformed outer sheath. The initial sample with a 40 mm diameter was processed at room temperature by four twist extrusion passes through a twist die having a hexagonal cross-section and a small twist-line slope angle β = 40° with a back-pressure of 100 MPa. The results showed that the processed sample had an undeformed core 20 mm in diameter and a deformed outer sheath with a gradient microstructure in which the average grain size decreased gradually from 50 μm to 0.5 μm towards the periphery along a radius direction. The microstructure gradient represented the various stages of the grain refinement process corresponding to increasing shear strain. The texture revealed two different shear deformation modes whose shear planes were perpendicular and parallel to the extrusion axis. The measured Vickers hardness showed good agreement with the microstructure. In the deformation zone, the classical Hall-Petch relation between the hardness and the grain size of the various characteristic areas formed by twist extrusion was found.
- Different shear deformation modes
- Gradient structure
- Twist extrusion