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Acta Metall Sin  2019, Vol. 55 Issue (6): 741-750    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2018.00460
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Influence of Alloying Elements Partitioning Behaviors on the Microstructure and Mechanical Propertiesin α+β Titanium Alloy
Sensen HUANG1,2,Yingjie MA1(),Shilin ZHANG1,Min QI1,Jiafeng LEI1,Yaping ZONG2,Rui YANG1
1. Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
2. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
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During the thermal treatments of α+β titanium alloys in (α+β) phase field, alloying element partitioning effect takes place accompanying with the α?β transformation, which results in the segregation of α stabilizing elements (Al, O) and β stabilizing elements (V, Mo, etc.) into the corresponding phases respectively. The element partitioning effect will further affect the microstructure characteristics (phase constitution, microstructure size), plastic deformation modes and the final mechanical properties of the alloy. In this work, the influences of solution temperature and cooling rate on the element partitioning behavior during solution process of Ti-6Al-4V alloy in (α+β) phase field were investigated. The element concentrations in primary α phase (αp) and β transformed region (βt) were characterized by EPMA technique. The microstructural variation of βt with respect to solution temperature was analyzed. It was found that βt showed an obvious increase of Al content and decrease of V content with the increasing of solution temperature, while the αp exhibited less noticeable change, which led to the reduction of concentration difference between the two phases. Under the same solution temperature, the microstructures and element distributions at different cooling rates (water quenching, air cooling, furnace cooling) were exhibited. The slow cooling processing especially furnace cooling would induce higher volume fraction of αp phase and more pronounced element partitioning. The microstructural characteristics of βt cooled from different solution temperatures were further analyzed. During the water or air cooling process, the transformations of β→matensite/αs happened, and the sizes of martensite or αs were postulated to be dependent on the element concentration of β phase. The properties of local microstructure (αp, βt) were further measured by nanoindentation. It indicates that the intrinsically anisotropic character of the hexagonal crystal structure (hcp) of the αp phase has decisive consequences for the properties, while the elastic modulus and hardness of βt calculated by nanoindentation are mainly dominated by the width of αs lamellas. On the basis of the above results, the relationship between solution temperature, element concentration of local microstructure, microstructure size and mechanical properties of local microstructure was finally discussed.

Key words:  α+β titanium alloy      alloying element partitioning      microstructure      nanoindentation     
Received:  08 October 2018     
ZTFLH:  TG146  
Fund: Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(No.XDB06050100);National Key Research and Development Program of China(Nos.2016YFC0304201);National Key Research and Development Program of China(2016YFC0304206);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.51871225)
Corresponding Authors:  Yingjie MA     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Sensen HUANG,Yingjie MA,Shilin ZHANG,Min QI,Jiafeng LEI,Yaping ZONG,Rui YANG. Influence of Alloying Elements Partitioning Behaviors on the Microstructure and Mechanical Propertiesin α+β Titanium Alloy. Acta Metall Sin, 2019, 55(6): 741-750.

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Fig.1  Back scattered electron (BSE) image of microstructure (a) and corresponding element concentration distributions of Al (b) and V (c) of the as-received TC4 alloy (The color scales represent element concentration, with red referring to high, while blue low contents)
Fig.2  Microstructure (a) and concentration distribution of Al and V (along the center line) (b) of TC4 alloy water quenched at 960 ℃
Fig.3  Quantitative measurements of element concentrations in αp and βt with respect to solution temperature in α+β phase region followed by water quenching
Fig.4  Microstructures and corresponding element concentration distributions of the TC4 samples soluted at 880 ℃ and followed by different cooling conditions (The color scale represents element concentration, with red referring to high, while blue low contents)
Fig.5  Quantitative measurements of Al, V concentrations of in TC4 samples soluted at 880 ℃ and cooled with different conditions(a) BSE image of furnace cooling sample, with the numbers referring to the positions: 1—the core of αp, 2—the 1/2 radius of αp, 3—near the edge of αp, 4—βt (The BSE image contrast of αp is indicated by the arrows)   (b) element concentrations of the four positions in Fig.5a under different cooling conditions
Fig.6  Microstructures of the TC4 alloy samples water quenched from the solution temperatures of 880 ℃ (a), 920 ℃ (b), 960 ℃ (c), 980 ℃ (d), 1000 ℃ (e) and volume fractions of αp and βt (f)
Fig.7  XRD spectra of the as-received TC4 sample (a) and the samples quenched from different temperatures
Fig.8  Micromorphologies of martensite (indicated by the arrows) in βt of the TC4 samples soluted at different temperatures and followed by W.Q.
Fig.9  Microstructures of αs lamella in βt of the TC4 samples soluted at different temperatures and followed by A.C.
Fig.10  Variations of elastic modulus (E) and hardness (H) of αp in the as-received TC4 sample detected by nanoindentation
Fig.11  Variations of E and H of βt in the samples with solution and A.C. condition as a function of solution temperature
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