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Design of metastable β-Ti alloys with enhanced mechanical properties by coupling αS precipitation strengthening and TRIP effect
Materials Science and Engineering: A  (IF5.234),  Pub Date : 2022-01-20, DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2022.142696
Nana Chen, Hongchao Kou, Zhihong Wu, Fengming Qiang, Ke Hua, Chuanyun Wang, Bin Tang, Jinshan Li, J.M. Molina-Aldareguia

A strain-transformable microstructure was successfully designed in a metastable β Ti–7Mo–3Nb–3Cr–3Al alloy with enhanced mechanical properties, by introducing ∼28% α precipitates coupled with the TRIP effect, overcoming the traditional trade-off dilemma between strength and ductility in most metastable β-Ti alloys. The as-designed lamellar microstructure was predominantly deformed by stress-induced martensitic (SIM α") phase transformations, martensitic twinning and dislocation slip of the parent β grains and α laths. The β→α" transformation followed the [113]β//[112]α"//[-310]α"//[1-21]α" orientation relationship, with the {133}β habit plane predicted by the Phenomenological Theory of Martensite Crystallography (PTMC). A novel <211>α" type II martensitic twinning mode was also found, in addition to the {111}α" type I mode at SIM α"/α impinging region. The results show that, not only the lamellar α precipitates play a major role in precipitation strengthening, but they can also effectively block SIM α" propagation at the initial stages of deformation. However, SIM α" transmission across the α laths was also observed for large strains. Moreover, <c+a> pyramidal slip and shear of the α laths also contributed to the accommodation of internal stresses. Therefore, the origin of the enhanced tensile mechanical properties can be attributed to the combined effects of α precipitation strengthening coupled with the TRIP softening effect and the extra interaction stresses introduced by the α laths and other deformation products, validating the design concept. The current investigation may provide a novel strategy for designing new high-performance metastable β-Ti alloys.