Evolution and micromechanical properties of interface structures in TiNbf/TiAl composites prepared by powder metallurgy


TiNbf/TiAl composite has enormous potential to serve on advanced aerospace equipment, but brittle reaction products limit the further improvement of overall toughness; meanwhile, the types and contents of interface reaction products remain controversial. This study is to clarify the evolution process of interface reaction structure in TiNbf/TiAl composite and explain it from the perspective of thermodynamics. This study discovered that brittle interface can transform into a relatively ductile interface containing two kinds of α2/γ lamella colonies above the transition temperature of 1200 °C. The relative sizes of γ and α2 lamella thickness varied in two different lamellar colonies. Above 1200 °C, recrystallization process at the boundary of original TiAl particles was completed and all defects were eliminated completely either. Gibbs free energy (ΔG) of every phase (γ, α2, β and other generated intermetallics) calculated based on element distribution model is consistent with the experiment results well. Micromechanical properties tested by nanoindentation suggest that the interface in the form of lamella colonies had relieved variation amplitudes of reduced modulus Er and hardness H across the interface region which may show beneficial influences on improving toughness of TiNbf/TiAl composite.

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The authors acknowledge the sponsor of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51971176), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51774238) and the 2018 Joint Foundation of Ministry of Education for Equipment Pre-research (No. 6141A020332). We would like to thank the Analytical and Testing Center of Northwestern Polytechnical University for this paper.

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Correspondence to Rui Hu.

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Li, J., Hu, R., Yang, J. et al. Evolution and micromechanical properties of interface structures in TiNbf/TiAl composites prepared by powder metallurgy. J Mater Sci 55, 12421–12433 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-020-04816-y

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