The high mechanical properties of the Al-Li-X alloys contribute to their increasingly broad application in aeronautics, as an alternative forthe aluminium alloys, which have been used so far. The aluminium-lithium alloys have a lower specific gravity, a higher nucleation andcrack spread resistance, a higher Young’s module and they characterize in a high crack resistance at lower temperatures. The aim of theresearch planned in this work was to design an aluminium alloy with a content of lithium and other alloy elements. The research includedthe creation of a laboratorial melt, the microstructure analysis with the use of light microscopy, the application of X-ray methods to identify the phases existing in the alloy, and the microhardness test.
Two strength-age hardening aluminum-lithium alloys: Al-2.3wt%Li and Al-2.2wt%Li-0.1wt%Zr in two different heat treatment conditions: solution state (S) and additionally in aging state (A) were severely plastically deformed by rolling with cyclic movement of rolls (RCMR) method to produce ultrafine – grained structure. Two thermo-mechanical treatments were used: (S+A+RCMR) and (S+RCMR+A+RCMR). To investigate the combined effect of plastic deformation and heat treatment, tensile tests were performed. Microstructural observations were undertaken using scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), and scanning transmission electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with electron backscattering diffraction detector (EBSD). Based on the obtained results, it can be deduced that maximum mechanical properties as: yield strength (YS) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS) could be achieved when the microstructure of alloys is in (S+A+RCMR) state. For samples in (S+RCMR+A+RCMR) state, ductility is higher than for (S+A+RCMR) state. The microstructural results shows that the favourable conditions for decreasing grain size of alloys is (S+A+RCMR) state. Additionally, in this state is much greater dislocation density than for (S+RCMR+A+RCMR) state. The microstructure of alloys in (S+RCMR+A+RCMR) state is characterized by grains/subgrains with higher average diameter and with higher misorientation angles compared with (S+A+RCMR) state.