Bulk nanostructured metals are often formed via severe plastic deformation (SPD). The dislocations generated during SPD evolve into boundaries to decompose the grains. Vacancies are also produced in large numbers during SPD, but have received much less attention. Using transmission electron microscopy, here we demonstrate a high density of unusually large vacancy Frank loops in SPD-processed Al. They are shown to impede moving dislocations and should be a contributor to strength. (C) 2007 American Institute of Physics.
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