Plate-shaped transformation products in zirconium-base alloys

Banerjee, S. ; Dey, G. K. ; Srivastava, D. ; Ranganathan, S. (1995) Plate-shaped transformation products in zirconium-base alloys Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 28 (11). pp. 2201-2216. ISSN 1073-5623

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Plate-shaped products resulting from martensitic, diffusional, and mixed mode transformations in zirconium-base alloys are compared in the present study. These alloys are particularly suitable for the comparison in view of the fact that the lattice correspondence between the parent β (bcc) and the product α (hcp) or γ-hydride (fct) phases are remarkably similar for different types of transformations. Crystallographic features such as orientation relations, habit planes, and interface structures associated with these transformations have been compared, with a view toward examining whether the transformation mechanisms have characteristic imprints on these experimental observables. Martensites exhibiting dislocated lath, internally twinned plate, and self-accommodating three-plate cluster morphologies have been encountered in Zr-2.5Nb alloy. Habit planes corresponding to all these morphologies have been found to be consistent with the predictions based on the invariant plane strain (IPS) criterion. Different morphologies have been found to reflect the manner in which the neighboring martensite variants are assembled. Lattice-invariant shears (LISs) for all these cases have been identified to be either {101-1 }α {1-123}α slip or twinning on {101-1}α planes. Widmanstatten α precipitates, forming in a step-quenching treatment, have been shown to have a lath morphology, the α/β interface being decorated with a periodic array of {c + a} dislocations at a spacing of 8 to 10 nm. The line vectors of these dislocations are nearly parallel to the invariant lines. The α precipitates, forming in the retained β phase on aging, exhibit an internally twinned structure with a zigzag habit plane. Average habit planes for the morphologies have been found to lie near the {103}β - {113}β poles, which are close to the specific variant of the {112}β plane, which transforms into a prismatic plane of the type {11-00}α. The crystallography of the formation of the γ-hydride phase (fct) from both the α and β phases is seen to match the IPS predictions. While the β-γ transformation can be treated approximately as a simple shear on the basal plane involving a change in the stacking sequence, the α-γ transformation can be conceptually broken into a α → β transformation following the Burgers correspondence and the simple β-γ shear process. The active eutectoid decomposition in the Zr-Cu system, β → α + β', has been described in terms of cooperative growth of the α phase from the β phase through the Burgers correspondence and of the partially ordered β' (structurally similar to the equilibrium Zr2Cu phase) through an ordering process. Similarities and differences in crystallographic features of these transformations have been discussed, and the importance of the invariant line vector in deciding the geometry of the corresponding habit planes has been pointed out.

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