In a collaborative study involving Equal Channel Angular Extrusion (ECAE), a unique severe plastic deformation (SPD) process, researchers were able to improve the mechanical properties of magnetic alloys without changing their magnetic properties through microstructural refinement. This process has proven to be troublesome in the past. ECAE forces a bar of metallic or polymeric material at a 90-degree angle through a die channel. This process induces SPD without any changes in the cross-sectional area of the sample. Production of high-performance magnetic alloys and other intermetallics could prove particularly useful in aerospace and space exploration where materials must endure harsh environments including temperature extremes, shock and vibration.
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