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A kinetic study on the evolution of martensitic transformation behavior and microstructures in Ti-Ta high temperature shape memory alloys during aging
Ti–Ta alloys represent candidate materials for high-temperature shape-memory alloys (HTSMAs). They outperform several other types of HTSMAs in terms of cost, ductility, and cold workability. However, Ti–Ta alloys are characterized by a relatively fast microstructural degradation during exposure to elevated temperatures, which gives rise to functional fatigue. In the present study, we investigate how isothermal aging affects the martensitic transformation behavior and microstructures in Ti70Ta30 HTSMAs. Ti–Ta sheets with fully recrystallized grain structures were obtained from a processing route involving arc melting, heat treatments, and rolling. The final Ti–Ta sheets were subjected to an extensive aging heat treatment program. Differential scanning calorimetry and various microstructural characterization techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, conventional X-ray, and synchrotron diffraction were used for the characterization of resulting material states. We identify different types of microstructural evolution processes and their effects on the martensitic and reverse transformation. Based on these results, an isothermal time temperature transformation (TTT) diagram for Ti70Ta30 was established. This TTT plot rationalizes the dominating microstructural evolution processes and related kinetics. In the present work, we also discuss possible options to slow down microstructural and functional degradation in Ti–Ta HTSMAs.