Metastable β titanium alloys, and in particular Ti-Nb based superelastic alloys, are deemed of great commercial importance due to their unique properties. The latter has gained interest most recently as a favourable alternative to NiTi shape memory and superelastic alloys.
Ti-Nb based superelastic alloys have sparked increased interest within the aerospace industry due to their potential to absorb vibrations via a reversible phase change (martensitic transformation) on the application of critical stress. This process is also temperature dependent, so the thermodynamic stability of the materials will depend upon the temperature at which martensitic transformation takes place and the rate at which the materials cool.
In previous studies, Ti-Nb has exhibited a number of different microstructures and is shown to be sensitive to different cooling rates. Scientists from the University of Cambridge were keen to investigate whether the thickness of the material influenced the microstructures and behaviours seen.
In this study, samples of different thicknesses were produced and X-ray diffraction used at Diamond to determine whether this had any effect on the variation in microstructures and mechanical properties of the alloys. The results will influence the application of these alloys for commercial use.
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