Incorporation of a second constituent into a pure metal offers a very flexible means of strengthening. In this chapter, the interactions of individual solute atoms with dislocations are considered in detail. First, the effects of moderate concentrations of individual substitutional solute atoms in FCC and HCP metals with normally negligible lattice resistance in the low temperature range are considered, where the solute atoms are immobile in the lattice. Then, the much more complex interactions of solute atoms with screw dislocations in BCC metals are considered, again only in the low temperature range where, however, a substantial lattice resistance would now have been present in the pure reference metal. These two very different but complementary cases provide detailed insight and a framework into the mechanisms governing the temperature and strain rate dependence of the plastic resistance in solid solution alloys, not only for these specific cases but also for some other cases which are not covered in the chapter. The latter subjects include dislocation interactions with interstitial solute atoms and cases at moderately elevated temperature, where the solute becomes mobile in the lattice on the same time scale of motion of dislocations, resulting in instabilities in the form of jerky glide phenomena. Some of these phenomena are discussed in Chapter 8. Other and more complex interactions of strain hardening with solute strengthening are also not considered but are deferred to Chapter 8.
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