Wires prepared by the solid-phase-compaction followed by heavy wire-drawing of atomized Cu-Zr alloy powders were studied. Microstructures and mechanical and electrical properties of wires drawn from hypoeutectic Cu-1, Cu-3 and Cu5 at%Zr alloys, preprocessed by spark plasma sintering (SPS), were investigated. The microstructures of specimens formed by SPS of the powders changed into fine dual-phased structures comprising phases of Cu and the intermetallic compound Cu5Zr, which was dispersed in the Cu matrix. The volume fraction of the intermetallic compound Cu5Zr in SPS specimens increased with an increase in the Zr content. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS) values of the specimens increased, while their electrical conductivity (EC) values decreased simultaneously. The alloy wires, preprocessed by SPS, contained dual-phased microstructures in which the intermetallic compound Cu5Zr was dispersed in the shape of small islands in the Cu matrix. Drawn Cu- 1, Cu-3 and Cu5 at%Zr alloy wires exhibited UTS values of 603, 698 and 789 MPa, respectively, and EC values of 87, 70 and 52% IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard), respectively. The UTS values were about 4056% lower and EC values about 2860% higher than those previously reported for wires preprocessed by casting. The lamellar structures of the α-Cu and eutectic (Cu+ intermetallic compound Cu9Zr2) phases in the drawn wires preprocessed by casting improved the mechanical properties of the wires. The microstructures of the intermetallic compounds Cu5Zr, which was uniformly dispersed in the Cu matrix in the drawn wires preprocessed by SPS, helped increase the electrical conductivity of the wires.
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