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Unusual composition dependence of transformation temperatures in Ti-Ta-X shape memory alloys
Ti-Ta-X (X = Al, Sn, Zr) compounds are emerging candidates as high-temperature shape memory alloys (HTSMAs). The stability of the one-way shape memory effect (1WE), the exploitable pseudoelastic (PE) strain intervals, as well as the transformation temperature in these alloys depend strongly on composition, resulting in a trade-off between a stable shape memory effect and a high transformation temperature. In this work, experimental measurements and first-principles calculations are combined to rationalize the effect of alloying a third component to Ti-Ta–based HTSMAs. Most notably, an increase in the transformation temperature with increasing Al content is detected experimentally in Ti-Ta-Al for low Ta concentrations, in contrast to the generally observed dependence of the transformation temperature on composition in Ti-Ta-X. This inversion of trend is confirmed by the ab initio calculations. Furthermore, a simple analytical model based on the ab initio data is derived. The model can not only explain the unusual composition dependence of the transformation temperature in Ti-Ta-Al but also provide a fast and elegant tool for a qualitative evaluation of other ternary systems. This is exemplified by predicting the trend of the transformation temperature of Ti-Ta-Sn and Ti-Ta-Zr alloys, yielding a remarkable agreement with available experimental data.