Size effects on the martensitic phase transformation of NiTi nanograins

Thomas Waitz, Thomas Antretter, Franz Dieter Fischer, N K Simha, Hans-Peter Karnthaler

The analysis of nanocrystalline NiTi by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) shows that the martensitic transformation proceeds by the formation of atomic-scale twins. Grains of a size less than about 50 nm do not transform to martensite even upon large undercooling. A systematic investigation of these phenomena was carried out elucidating the influence of the grain size on the energy barrier of the transformation. Based on the experiment, nanograins were modeled as spherical inclusions containing (0 0 1) compound twinned martensite. Decomposition of the transformation strains of the inclusions into a shear eigenstrain and a normal eigenstrain facilitates the analytical calculation of shear and normal strain energies in dependence of grain size, twin layer width and elastic properties. Stresses were computed analytically for special cases, otherwise numerically. The shear stresses that alternate from twin layer to twin layer are concentrated at the grain boundaries causing a contribution to the strain energy scaling with the surface area of the inclusion, whereas the strain energy induced by the normal components of the transformation strain and the temperature dependent chemical free energy scale with the volume of the inclusion. In the nanograins these different energy contributions were calculated which allow to predict a critical grain size below which the martensitic transformation becomes unlikely. Finally, the experimental result of the atomic-scale twinning can be explained by analytical calculations that account for the transformation-opposing contributions of the shear strain and the twin boundary energy of the twin-banded morphology of martensitic nanograins. Π2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Physics of Nanostructured Materials
External organisation(s)
Montanuniversität Leoben, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
1030 Physics, Astronomy
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