Hot deformation characteristics of forged and β-quenched Zr-1.0Sn-0.3Nb-0.3Fe-0.1Cr (N18 alloy) in the temperature range 625–950°C and in the strain rate range 0.005–5 s−1 have been studied by uniaxial compression testing of Gleeble 3500. For this study, the approach of processing maps has been adopted and their interpretation done using the Dynamic Materials Model (DMM). Based on a series of true stress-true strain curves on various temperatures and strain rates, the flow stress has been summarized and both the strain rate sensitivity index (m) and deformation activation energy (Q) have been calculated by the constitutive equations that flow stress and the relationship of Z parameter and flow stress have been established subsequently. Furthermore, the efficiency of power dissipation (⬜) given by [2m/(m+1)] and improved by Murty has been plotted as a function of temperature and strain rate to obtain different processing maps at different true strain rates ranging from 0.1–0.7. Subsequently, the microstructures of the specimens after compression testing were characterized by electron channeling contrast (ECC) imaging techniques used an FEI Nova 400 field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM). The results showed that: (i) The hyperbolic sine constitutive equation can describe the flow stress behavior of zirconium alloy, and the deformation activation energy and flow stress equation were calculated under the different temperature stages which insists that the deformation mechanism is not dynamic recovery. (ii) The hot processing maps and its validation were analyzed, which indicated that the DMM theory was reliable and could be adopted as useful tool for optimizing hot workability of Zr. The optimum parameters for extrusion and hammer forging were revealed on the processing maps of 830–950°C, 0.048–2.141 s−1 and 916–950°C, 2.465–5 s−1. (iii) The microstructure of the ingot exhibits a typical lamellar Widmanstatten structure. Under the different strain rates, the grains formed by dynamic recrystallization existed normally in the central zone of the compression samples while the no uniformity of grain size increased with the increasing of strain rate. Meanwhile, due to the dynamic recrystallization as a thermal activation process, the grains size and uniformity increased with the increasing of temperature. In brief, microstructure analysis showed that continuous dynamic recrystallization and geometric dynamic recrystallization operated concurrently during the isothermal compressive deformation.

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