Additonal authors: Haofeng, Xie. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:
The Age-hardening Cu-Cr alloys are extensively used in integrated circuit lead frame, railway contact wire, resistance welding electrode and continuous casting mold copper plate, owing to having an excellent combination of high electrical or thermal conductivity and high strength. High temperature performance is very important during the service process. Effect of Magnesium and Zirconium on softening behavior of Cr-Cr alloy are investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). During the softening process in the Cu-Cr alloy, the recrystallization process, grain growth and Cr precipitates coarsening are observed. The addition of Mg or Zr to the Cu-Cr alloy, the resistance to elevated temperature can be significantly improved, owing to being restrained the growth of the precipitates by segregating along precipitates surface.
Age-hardening Cu-Cr system alloys can be widely uesed in many fileds such as electrodes for spot welding (Hatakeyama et al., 2008; Cheng, Shen & Yu, 2013; Zhou et al., 2016; Chbihi, Sauvage & Blavette, 2012), intergrated circuit lead frame (Hatakeyama et al., 2008; Cheng, Shen & Yu, 2013; Zhou et al., 2016; Liu et al., 2006; Pang et al., Xia et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2009; Huang et al., 2003; Cheng, Yu & Shen, 2014; Zhang et al., 2016; Li et al., 2007) and railway contact wire (Cheng, Shen & Yu, 2013; Zhou et al., 2016; Chbihi, Sauvage & Blavette, 2012; Liu et al., 2006; Pang et al., Xia et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2009; Huang et al., 2003), because it has high strength, good electrical and thermal conductivity.
The precipitation behavior of binary or ternary Cu-Cr alloys had been investigated by many researchers (Chbihi, Sauvage & Blavette, 2012; Peng et al., 2017; Batra et al., 2002). In addition, to obtain additional mechanical properties without much deterioration in electrical conductivity, trace addition of alloying elements like Zr, Ag, rare metals (Y and Ce) and Mg are added into Cu-Cr alloy. The addition Mg to Cu-Cr alloy accelerated the process of precipitates nucleation and restrained the growth of the precipitates by segregating along precipitates surface during aging, which enhanced the stability of the deformation microstructure and improved the mechanical properties of the alloy (Zhao et al., 2018). Additional zirconium in Cu-Cr alloy enhances the strength by the decrease in inter-precipitate spacing of Cr precipitates and the formation of Cu5Zr phase (Chihiro, Ryoichi & Kazue, 2008). Owing to the decrease in inter-precipitation spacing of Cr precipitates and to the Ag-atom-drag effect on dislocation motion, the addition of Ag can increase in strength, stress relaxation resistance and without much deterioration in electrical conductivity (Chihiro, Ryoichi & Kazue, 2008). The enhance in strength and electrical conductivity of the Cu-Cr-Zr alloy by adding Ce and Y elements are attributed to removing oxygen and sulfur from as-cast alloy (Li et al., 2006). However, the effect of Mg or Zr element on microstructure and properties of Cu-Cr alloy during the softening process are not clear. Therefore, Microstructure evolution and properties of a Cu-Cr systems alloy were investigated in detail by OM and TEM. The Relationship between microstructure and properties of Cu-Cr systems alloy was also discussed.