The three-dimensional size, morphology and distribution of Ni 4Ti3 precipitates in a Ni50.8Ti49.2 polycrystalline shape memory alloy with a heterogeneous microstructure have been investigated using a focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy slice-and-view procedure. The mean volume, central plane diameter, thickness, aspect ratio and sphericity of the precipitates in the grain interior as well as near to the grain boundary were measured and/or calculated. The morphology of the precipitates was quantified by determining the equivalent ellipsoids with the same moments of inertia and classified according to the Zingg scheme. Also, the pair distribution functions describing the three-dimensional distributions were obtained from the coordinates of the precipitate mass centres. Based on this new data it is suggested that the existence of the heterogeneous microstructure could be due to a very small concentration gradient in the grains of the homogenized material and that the resulting multistage martensitic transformation originates in strain effects related to the size of the precipitates and scale differences of the available B2 matrix in between the precipitates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys