Cold-rolling behavior of biomedical Ni-free Co-Cr-Mo alloys: Role of strain-induced ε martensite and its intersecting phenomena

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Ni-free Co-Cr-Mo alloys are some of the most difficult-to-work metallic materials used commonly in biomedical applications. Since the difficulty in plastically deforming them limits their use, an in-depth understanding of their plastic deformability is of crucial importance for both academic and practical purposes. In this study, the microstructural evolution of a Co-29Cr-6Mo-0.2N (mass%) alloy during cold rolling was investigated. Further, its work-hardening behavior is discussed while focusing on the strain-induced face-centered cubic (fcc) γ→hexagonal close-packed (hcp) ε martensitic transformation (SIMT). The planar dislocation slip and subsequent SIMT occurred even in the initial stage of the deformation process owing to the low stability of the γ-phase and contributed to the work hardening behavior. However, the amount of the SIMTed ε-phase did not explain the overall variation in work hardening during cold rolling. It was found that the intersecting of the SIMTed ε-plates enhanced local strain evolution and then produced fine domain-like deformation microstructures at the intersections. Consequently, the degree of work hardening was reduced during subsequent plastic deformation, resulting in the alloy exhibiting a two-stage work hardening behavior. The results obtained in this study suggest that the interaction between ε-martensites, and ultimately its relaxation mechanism, is of significant importance; therefore, this aspect should be addressed in detail; the atomic structures of the γ-matrix/ε-martensite interfaces, the phenomenon of slip transfer at the interfaces, and the slipping behavior of the ε-phase itself are needed to be elucidated for further increasing the cold deformability of such alloys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-214
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar


  • Biomedical Co-Cr-Mo alloy
  • Cold rolling
  • Deformation microstructures
  • Martensitic transformation
  • Work hardening


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