Suppression of Ni4Ti3 precipitation by grain size refinement in Ni-rich NiTi shape memory alloys
E. A. Prokofiev, J. A. Burow, E. J. Payton, R. Zarnetta, J. Frenzel, D. V. Gunderov, R. Z. Valiev, G. Eggeler.
Advanced Engineering Materials, 12, 747-753, (2010)
Severe plastic deformation (SPD) processes, such as equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) and high pressure torsion (HPT), are successfully employed to produce ultra fine grain (UFG) and nanocrystalline (NC) microstructures in a Ti–50.7 at% Ni shape memory alloy. The effect of grain size on subsequent Ni-rich particle precipitation during annealing is investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area electron diffraction (SAD, SAED), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). It is observed that Ni4Ti3 precipitation is suppressed in grains of cross-sectional equivalent diameter below approximately 150 nm, and that particle coarsening is inhibited by very fine grain sizes. The results suggest that fine grain sizes impede precipitation processes by disrupting the formation of self-accommodating particle arrays and that the arrays locally compensate for coherency strains during nucleation and growth.