Two main explanations exist for the deformation mechanisms in Ti-Nb-based gum metals, i.e. the formation of reversible nanodisturbance and reversible stress-induced martensitic transformation. In this work, we used the in situ synchrotron-based high-energy X-ray diffuse-scattering technique to reveal the existence of a specific deformation mechanism, i.e. deformation-induced spatially confined martensitic transformations, in Ti-24Nb-4Zr-8Sn-0.10O single crystals with cubic β parent phase, which explains well some anomalous mechanical properties of the alloy such as low elastic modulus and nonlinear superelasticity. Two kinds of nanosized martensites with different crystal structures were found during uniaxial tensile loading along the [1 1 0]β axis at room temperature and 190 K, respectively. The detailed changes in the martensitic phase transformation characteristics and the transformation kinetics were experimentally observed at different temperatures. The domain switch from non-modulated martensite to a modulated one occurred at 190 K, with its physical origin attributed to the heterogeneity of local phonon softening depending on temperature and inhomogeneous composition in the parent phase. An in-depth understanding of the formation of stress-induced spatially confined nanosized martensites with a large gradient in chemical composition may benefit designs of high-strength and high-ductility alloys.
Liu, J. P., Wang, Y. D., Hao, Y. L., Wang, H. L., Wang, Y., Nie, Z. H., … Yang, R. (2014). High-energy X-ray diffuse scattering studies on deformation-induced spatially confined martensitic transformations in multifunctional Ti-24Nb-4Zr-8Sn alloy. Acta Materialia, 81, 476–486. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2014.08.019