Crack nucleation and elastic / plastic deformation of TiAl alloys investigated by in-situ loaded atomic force microscopy


The crack propagation mechanisms of γ-titanium aluminides with fully lamellar microstructure have been studied using in-situ deformation in the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). AFM demonstrated the unique capability to detect elastic as well as plastic deformation during in-situ tests from topography changes on the surface. It was found that the crack nucleation, which can occur at γ/γ and α2/γ interfaces as well as inside the γ-phase, is always preceded by strong local elastic deformation. No cracking inside the α2-phase was observed. The elastic and plastic deformation was confined inside the γ-phase and especially pronounced near interfaces which can be explained by the differences of the elastic and plastic deformation behavior of the γ- and α2- phase.
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