The study is centred on preparation and microstructural analysis of Cu composites containing different volume contents of secondary phases (MgO, Al2O3). The microstructure evolution is observed during the preparation of a nanocrystalline powder and after its processing into a compact. Effect of the dispersed oxide phases on preservation of the initial nanostructure is analyzed. The composites were prepared by thermo-chemical transformations of precursors (CuO+MgO, CuO+Al2O3) and mechanical milling followed by spark plasma sintering technique. The microstructure development of the powders during their preparation and subsequent compaction is characterized by metallographic observations and X-ray diffraction analysis. Mechanical properties were tested by micro and macro-hardness measurements. From the study follows that the Cu materials containing Al2O3dispersoid exhibit improved thermal stability and higher hardness values compared to the Cu materials dispersion strengthened by MgO particles.Keywords: Dispersion strengthening, mechanical milling, X-ray diffraction analysis, thermal stability
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