Atomic-scale dissecting the formation mechanism of gradient nanostructured layer on Mg alloy processed by a novel high-speed machining technique

Hui Fu, Xiaoye Zhou, Bo Wu, Lei Qian, Xu Sheng Yang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Severe plastic deformation (SPD)-induced gradient nanostructured (GNS) metallic materials exhibit superior mechanical performance, especially the high strength and good ductility. In this study, a novel high-speed machining SPD technique, namely single point diamond turning (SPDT), was developed to produce effectively the GNS layer on the hexagonal close-packed (HCP) structural Mg alloy. The high-resolution transmission electron microscopy observations and atomistic molecular dynamics simulations were mainly performed to atomic-scale dissect the grain refinement process and corresponding plastic deformation mechanisms of the GNS layer. It was found that the grain refinement process for the formation of the GNS Mg alloy layer consists of elongated coarse grains, lamellar fine grains with deformation-induced-tension twins and contraction twins, ultrafine grains, and nanograins with the grain size of ∼70 nm along the direction from the inner matrix to surface. Specifically, experiment results and atomistic simulations reveal that these deformation twins are formed by gliding twinning partial dislocations that are dissociated from the lattice dislocations piled up at grain boundaries. The corresponding deformation mechanisms were evidenced to transit from the deformation twinning to dislocation slip when the grain size was below 2.45 μm. Moreover, the Hall-Petch relationship plot and the surface equivalent stress along the gradient direction estimated by finite element analysis for the SPDT process were incorporated to quantitatively elucidate the transition of deformation mechanisms during the grain refinement process. Our findings have implications for the development of the facile SPD technique to construct high strength-ductility heterogeneous GNS metals, especially for the HCP metals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-238
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2021


  • Deformation twinning
  • Gradient nanostructured Mg alloy
  • Hall-Petch relationship
  • High-resolution transition electron microscopy
  • High-speed machining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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