The potential of ultraﬁne grained light metals is reviewed. The fundamental metallurgical processes, microstructures developed and properties obtained are ﬁrst considered. Methods employing severe plastic deformation to achieve ultraﬁne structures are described and the obstacles to their industrial scale exploitation discussed. Recent advances include the incremental equal channel angular pressing (I-ECAP) process developed at the University of Strathclyde. Ultraﬁne grained materials are currently utilised in sputtering targets and high value medical devices, but large potential markets exist in the leisure and sports sectors, and in the longer term for aerospace and automotive applications.
- materials technology
- design engineering