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Cold working and Annealing

Cold working is deformation carried out under conditions where recovery


processes are not effective. Hot working is deformation under conditions
of temperature and strain rate such that recovery processes take place
simultaneously with the deformation.
Structural changes during cold working of polycrystalline metals and
alloys
(1) Changes in shape and size of grains: The equiaxed grains on
deformation are elongated in the direction of acting force i.e. stretched in
the direction of main tensile deformation stress–say, in the direction of
rolling or wire drawing.
(2) Changes in orientation of grains: Preferred orientation or texture of is
the state of severely cold worked metal in which certain crystallographic
planes of the grains orient themselves in a preferred manner with respect
to the direction of the stress (or maximum strain).
(3) Changes in internal structure of grains: during cold working around
15% of the work of the deformation gets absorbed in the material (rest is
lost as heat). This stored energy is the form of energy of crystal defects.
Plastic deformation increases the concentration of point defects. With
increase of cold working, the number of stacking-faults increases, thus
density of extended dislocations increases. The number of kinks, jogs,
dipoles, prismatic loops increase. The most important internal change of
structure is increase in density of dislocation from 106 – 108 cm-2 in
annealed state to 1010 – 1012 by moderate cold working.
Effect of cold work on properties
Cold working or strain hardening is the increase in the stress required to
cause further slip because of previous plastic deformation. This is an
important industrial process that is used to harden metals or alloys that do
not respond to heat treatment. It changes various mechanical, physical and
chemical properties of metals and alloys.
With increase in amount of cold work, Ultimate Tensile Strength, Yield
Strength, Hardness increases but ductily (elongation and reduction in area)
decreases. Cold worked texture and mechanical fibering leads to
Anisotropy in in properties of materials. The ductility and impact
toughness is much lower in transverse section rather than in longitudinal
section. As the internal energy of cold worked state is high, the chemical
reactivity of the material increases i.e. the corrosion resistance decreases,
and may cause stress corrosion cracking in certain alloys. The rate of
strain hardening (slope of flow curve) is generally lower in HCP metals
than cubic metals. High temperatures of deformation also lower the rate of
strain-hardening.
Annealing of Cold worked materials
In certain applications materials are used in the cold-worked state to
derive benefits of increased hardness and strength. The cold worked
dislocation cell structure is mechanically stable, but not
thermodynamically stable. It is necessary to restore the ductility to allow
further cold deformation or to restore the optimum physical properties
such as electrical conductivity essential for applications. The treatment to
restore the ductility or electrical conductivity with a simultaneous
decrease in hardness and strength is Annealing (or Recrystallization
annealing). It is heating cold worked metal to a temperature above
recrystallization temperature, holding there for some time and then slow
cooling.
The process of Annealing can be divided into three fairly distinct stages
(1) Recovery (2) Recrystallization (3) Grain growth. There is no change in
composition or crystal structure during annealing. The driving force for
recovery and recrystallization is the stored cold-worked energy, whereas
for grain growth is the energy stored in grain boundaries.
Recovery It is restoration of the physical properties of the cold worked
metal without of any observable change in microstructure. It is the
Annihilation and rearrangement of point imperfections and dislocations
without the migration of high angle grain boundaries. Recovery is initially
very rapid, and more when the annealing temperature is high. Electrical
conductivity increases rapidly toward the annealed value and lattice strain
measured using XRD is appreciably reduced. Properties those are
sensitive to point defects are affected, and strength properties are not
affected. With increasing time at constant temperature the recovery
becomes slower. The greater the initial cold work, the more rapid is the
initial rate of recovery. The rate of recovery of fine grains is higher than
that of coarse grains.
Polygonization one of the recovery processes which leads to
rearrangement of the dislocations, with a resultant lowering of the lattice
strain energy. It is a process of arranging excess edge dislocations in the
form of tilt boundaries, and the excess screw dislocations in the form of
twist boundaries, with the resultant lowering of the elastic strain energy.
Climb and slip of dislocations are essential for polygonization. The
presence of solute atoms in a metal reduces the rate of polygonization.
Recrystallization It is nucleation and growth of new strain-free crystals
from the cold worked metal. Kinetics of recrystallization resembles a
phase transformation. Two distinct nucleation mechanisms have been
identified. (1) Strain-induced boundary migration, where a strain-free
nucleus is formed when one of the existing grain boundaries into its
neighbour, leaving a strain-free recrystallized region. (2) new grains are
formed in the regions of sharp lattice curvature through subgrain growth. This seems to predominate at high
strains, with nuclei appearing at grain boundaries or at inclusions or second phase particles. Mechanical
properties change drastically over a very small temperature range to become typical of the annealed material.
Electrical resistivity decrease sharply.
Factors influence recrystallization behavior are (1) Amount of deformation (2) temperature (3) time (4) initial
grain size (5) composition (6) amount of recovery or polygonisation (7) Method of deformation. Hence
recrystallization temperature is not a fixed temperature in the sense of a melting temperature. It can be defined
as the temperature at which a given alloy in a highly cold-worked state completely recrystallizes in 1h. The
laws of recrystallization are: (1) a minimum amount of deformation is needed to cause recrystallization. (2)
Smaller the degree of deformation, higher the temperature required to cause recrystallization. (3)
Recrystallization rate increases exponentially with temperature. Doubling the annealing time is approximately
equivalent to increasing the annealing temperature 10°C. (4) Greater degree of deformation and lower
annealing temperature, the smaller the recrystallized grains. (5) Larger the original grain size, the greater the
amount of cold-work required to produce equivalent recrystallization temperature. (6) The recrystallization
temperature decreases with increasing impurity of motel. Alloying always raise recrystallization temperature.
(7) The amount of deformation required to produce equivalent recrystallization behavior increases with
increased temperature of working.
Solute and Pinning effects The impurity in metal segregate at grain boundary and retard the migrating
boundaries during recrystallization. This is known as the solution drag effect. When fine second phase particle
(carbides) lies on the migrating boundary, the grain boundary area is reduced by an amount equal to cross
sectional area of particle. When the boundary moves further, it has to pull away from the particle and thereby
create new boundary are equal to cross sectional area of particle. This increases energy and manifests itself as a
pinning acting on the boundary. Consequently the rate of recrystallization decreases.
Grain growth It is uniform increase in the average grain size following recrystallization. The grain size
distribution does not change during normal grain growth. During abnormal grain growth called secondary
recrystallization because the phenomenon shows kinetics similar to recrystallization, the grain size distribution
may radically change i.e. some very large grains present along with the fine grains. The driving force for
abnormal growth is decrease in surface energy. Solute drag and pinning action of second phase particles retard
movement of a migrating boundary during grain growth as well.
comparison of mechanical properties during Recovery, Recrystallization and Grain growth.

2.

Strengthening/Hardening Mechanisms

As discussed in the previous section, the ability of a crystalline material to plastically deform largely depends
on the ability for dislocation to move within a material. Therefore, impeding the movement of dislocations will
result in the strengthening of the material. There are a number of ways to impede dislocation movement, which
include:

 controlling the grain size (reducing continuity of atomic planes)


 strain hardening (creating and tangling dislocations)
 alloying (introducing point defects and more grains to pin dislocation)

Control of Grain Size


The size of the grains within a material also has an effect on the strength
of the material. The boundary between grains acts as a barrier to
dislocation movement and the resulting slip because adjacent grains have
different orientations. Since the atom alignment is different and slip
planes are discontinuous between grains. The smaller the grains, the
shorter the distance atoms can move along a particular slip plane.
Therefore, smaller grains improve the strength of a material. The size and
number of grains within a material is controlled by the rate of
solidification from the liquid phase.

Strain Hardening
Strain hardening (also called work-hardening or cold-working) is the process of making a metal harder and
stronger through plastic deformation. When a metal is plastically deformed, dislocations move and additional
dislocations are generated. The more dislocations within a material, the more they will interact and become
pinned or tangled. This will result in a decrease in the mobility of the dislocations and a strengthening of the
material. This type of strengthening is commonly called cold-working. It is called cold-working because the
plastic deformation must occurs at a temperature low enough that atoms cannot rearrange themselves. When a
metal is worked at higher temperatures (hot-working) the dislocations can rearrange and little strengthening is
achieved.

Strain hardening can be easily demonstrated with piece of wire or a paper clip. Bend a straight section back and
forth several times. Notice that it is more difficult to bend the metal at the same place. In the strain hardened
area dislocations have formed and become tangled, increasing the strength of the material. Continued bending
will eventually cause the wire to break at the bend due to fatigue cracking. (After a large number of bending
cycles, dislocations form structures called Persistent Slip Bands (PSB). PSBs are basically tiny areas where the
dislocations have piled up and moved the material surface out leave steps in the surface that act as stress risers
or crack initiation points.)

It should be understood, however, that increasing the strength by cold-


working will also result in a reduction in ductility. The graph to the right
shows the yield strength and the percent elongation as a function of
percent cold-work for a few example materials. Notice that for each
material, a small amount of cold-working results in a significant reduction
in ductility.

Effects of Elevated Temperature on Strain Hardened Materials


When strain hardened materials are exposed to elevated temperatures, the
strengthening that resulted from the plastic deformation can be lost. This
can be a bad thing if the strengthening is needed to support a load.
However, strengthening due to strain hardening is not always desirable, especially if the material is being
heavily formed since ductility will be lowered.

Heat treatment can be used to remove the effects of strain hardening. Three things can occur during heat
treatment:

1. Recovery
2. Recrystallization
3. Grain growth

Recovery
When a stain hardened material is held at an elevated
temperature an increase in atomic diffusion occurs that
relieves some of the internal strain energy. Remember
that atoms are not fixed in position but can move
around when they have enough energy to break their
bonds. Diffusion increases rapidly with rising
temperature and this allows atoms in severely strained
regions to move to unstrained positions. In other words,
atoms are freer to move around and recover a normal
position in the lattice structure. This is known as the
recovery phase and it results in an adjustment of strain
on a microscopic scale. Internal residual stresses are
lowered due to a reduction in the dislocation density
and a movement of dislocation to lower-energy
positions. The tangles of dislocations condense into
sharp two-dimensional boundaries and the dislocation density within these areas decrease. These areas are
called subgrains. There is no appreciable reduction in the strength and hardness of the material but corrosion
resistance often improves.

Recrystallization
At a higher temperature, new, strain-free grains nucleate and grow inside the old distorted grains and at the
grain boundaries. These new grains grow to replace the deformed grains produced by the strain hardening. With
recrystallization, the mechanical properties return to their original weaker and more ductile states.
Recrystallization depends on the temperature, the amount of time at this temperature and also the amount of
strain hardening that the material experienced. The more strain hardening, the lower the temperature will be at
which recrystallization occurs. Also, a minimum amount (typically 2-20%) of cold work is necessary for any
amount of recrystallization to occur. The size the new grains is also partially dependant on the amount of strain
hardening. The greater the stain hardening, the more nuclei for the new grains, and the resulting grain size will
be smaller (at least initially).
Grain Growth
If a specimen is left at the high temperature beyond the time needed for complete recrystallization, the grains
begin to grow in size. This occurs because diffusion occurs across the grain boundaries and larger grains have
less grain boundary surface area per unit of volume. Therefore, the larger grains lose fewer atoms and grow at
the expense of the smaller grains. Larger grains will reduce the strength and toughness of the material.

4.

RECOVERY, RECRYSTALLISATION AND GRAIN GROWTH

When metal is subjected to hot working and cold working processes, plastic deformation occurs which is an
important phenomenon. Plastic deformation of metal distorts the crystal lattice. It breaks up the blocks of initial
equiaxed grains to produce fibrous structure and increases the energy level of metal. Deformed metal, during
comparison with its un-deformed state, is in non-equilibrium, thermodynamically unstable state. Therefore,
spontaneous processes occur in strain-hardened metal, even at room temperature that brings it into a more
stable condition. When the temperature of metal is increased, the metal attempts to approach equilibrium
through three processes:

(i) recovery,

(ii) recrystallisation, and

(iii) grain growth.

Fig. reflects the recovery, recrystallisation and grain growth and the main property changes in each region.

1. Recovery

When a strain-hardened metal is heated to a low temperature, the elastic distortions of the crystal lattice are
reduced due to the increase in amplitude of thermal oscillation of the atoms. This heating will decrease the
strength of the strain-hardened metal but there is an increase in the elastic limit and ductility of metal, though
they will not react the values possessed by the initial material before strain-hardening. No changes in
microstructure of metal are observed in this period. The partial restoration of the original
characteristics, produced by reducing the distortion of the crystal lattice without remarkable changes
in microstructure, is called recovery. At the initial state, the rate of the recovery is fastest and it drops off at
longer times at given temperature. Hence the amount of recovery that occurs in a practical time increases with
increasing temperature. The individual characteristic recover at different rates and gain various degrees of
completion in a given cold worked metal.

2. Recrystallisation

Formation of new equiaxed grains in the heating process of metal, instead of the oriented fibrous structure of
the deformed metal, is called recrystallisation. The process of recrystallisation is illustrated through Fig. The
first effect of heating of metal is to form new minute grains and these rapidly enlarge until further growth is
restricted by grain meeting another. The original system of grains go out of the picture and the new
crystallized structure is formed in the metal. Recrystallisation does not produce new structures however it
produces new grains or crystals of the same structure in the metal. It consists in having the atoms of the
deformed metal overcome the bonds of the distorted lattice, the formation of nuclei of equiaxed grains and
subsequent growth of these grains due to transfer of atoms from deformed to un-deformed crystallites. Finer
grains get refined and acquire a shape resembling fibres. The temperature at which crystallization starts, that is
new grains are formed, is called recrystallisation temperature. Recrystallisation temperature is also defined as
that temperature at which half of the cold worked material will recrystallise in 60 minutes.
3. Grain Growth

On recrystallisation of metal, the grains are smaller and somewhat regular in shape. The grains in metal will
grow if the temperature is high enough or if the temperature is allowed to exceed the minimum required for
recrystallisation and this growth of grain is the result of a tendency to return to more stable and larger state. It
appears to depend primarily on the shape of the grain. For any temperature above the recrystallization
temperature, normally there is practical maximum size at which the grains will reach equilibrium and cease to
grow significantly. However, there are certain kinds of abnormal grains growth in metal that occur as a result of
applied or residual gradients of strain due to non-uniform impurity distribution, and which permits growing
very large single grain in metal.

Critical Resolved Shear Stress

Crystalline materials tend to deform or fail by the relative motion of planes of atoms under the action of stress.
This motion is induced by the component of stresses acting across the slip planes. The deformation process is a
collective motion of adjacent slip planes. But all the planes do not start deforming simultaneously. Rather slip
starts from a single plane and then other planes follow. The first slip occurs when the shear stress across the
plane exceeds a certain value. This threshold value is called Critical Resolved Shear Stress.

Temperature and crystal geometry influence the minimum stress required to cause the shear. But when the
temperature and crystal geometry too is held constant and the crystal is loaded, a new scenario emerges.

A pure crystalline solid, when pulled along different orientations, requires different amount of loads in each
instance for the very first slip to occur (though the stress required for the planes to slip remains same). This
implies that the shear stress resulting from the loading is heavily affected by the orientation of the slip plane
with the tensile axis.

To find a generalized mathematical expression for the dependence of the load on the orientation let us assume
that a cylindrical specimen of the crystalline solid is being loaded with tension.
Critical Resolved Shear Stress

A: Cross sectional area of the sample


φ: Angle between the tensile axis and the normal to the slip plane
λ: Angle between the tensile axis and the slip direction.
P: Tensile load.

As the slip plane is inclined at an angle(φ) with the tensile axis, the cross sectional area of the slip plane will be
A/cos φ. Slip occurs on a direction which is contained within the slip plane. The tensile load will have a
component along the slip direction which will be responsible for the shear stress developed on the slip plane.
The component of the load will be P · cos λ.

Shear stress on the slip plane along the slip direction is given by

Shear stress = Load across the plane/Cross sectional area

τ = P · cos λ/(A/cos φ) = (P/A) · cos λ · cos φ

P/A can be substituted for tensile stress (σ), and the equation then becomes:

τ = σ · cos λ · cos φ

The term cos λ · cos φ is known as Schmid factor (m).

Slip Twinning
1. All atoms in one block move over 1. Different planes of atoms moves fractional distances depending on
the same distance their distance from the twinning plane.
2. Under microscope, slip appears as 2, It appears as broad lines (or) bands.
Slip Twinning
thin line.
3. There is very little change in lattice
3. Lattice orientation changes in the twinned regions.
orientation.
4. It requires lower shear stress. 4. It requires higher shear stress.
5. Occurs in metals having more
5. Occurs in metals having less number of slip systems.
number of slip systems.

In twinning each plane of atoms move through a definite distance and in the same direction. The extent of
movement of each plane is proportional to its distance from the twining plane, as shown in fig. The distance
moved by each successive atomic plane is greater than the previous plane by a few atomic spacings. When a
shear stress is applied the crystal will twin about the twinning plane in such a way that the region to the left of
the twinning plane is not deformed where as the region to the right is deformed. The atomic arrangement on
either side of the twinned plane is in such a way they are mirror reflections of each other. Twins are known as
anneling twins when they are produced during annealing heat treatment and mechanical twins when they are
produced by mechanical deformation of metals.

Mechanism of twinning:

Partial dislocation line moves up (or) down by one plane each time the twinning dislocation goes round it.
Twinning may be caused by impact, by thermal treatment (or) by plastic deformation