High-Temperature Nanoindentation of an Advanced Nano-Crystalline W/Cu Composite

Michael Burtscher, Mingyue Zhao, Johann Kappacher, Alexander Leitner, Michael Wurmshuber, Manuel J. Pfeifenberger, Verena Maier-Kiener, Daniel Kiener

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The applicability of nano-crystalline W/Cu composites is governed by their mechanical properties and microstructural stability at high temperatures. Therefore, mechanical and structural investigations of a high-pressure torsion deformed W/Cu nanocomposite were performed up to a temperature of 600 °C. Furthermore, the material was annealed at several temperatures for 1 h within a high-vacuum furnace to determine microstructural changes and surface effects. No significant increase of grain size, but distinct evaporation of the Cu phase accompanied by Cu pool and faceted Cu particle formation could be identified on the specimen′s surface. Additionally, high-temperature nanoindentation and strain rate jump tests were performed to investigate the materials mechanical response at elevated temperatures. Hardness and Young′s modulus decrease were noteworthy due to temperature-induced effects and slight grain growth. The strain rate sensitivity in dependent of the temperature remained constant for the investigated W/Cu composite material. Also, the activation volume of the nano-crystalline composite increased with temperature and behaved similar to coarse-grained W. The current study extends the understanding of the high-temperature behavior of nano-crystalline W/Cu composites within vacuum environments such as future fusion reactors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2951
Number of pages14
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • <p>W/Cu composite</p>
  • high-pressure torsion
  • microstructure
  • nanocrystalline
  • nanoindentation
  • W/Cu composite
  • High-pressure torsion
  • Nanoindentation
  • Microstructure
  • Nanocrystalline

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