Unravelling the lamellar size-dependent fracture behavior of fully lamellar intermetallic γ-TiAl

Neogi, A. and Janisch, R.

Volume: 227 Pages:
DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2022.117698
Published: 2022

Strengthening of metals by incorporating nano-scale coherent twin boundaries is one of the important breakthroughs of recent years in overcoming the strength-ductility trade-off. To this effect, also twin boundaries in nano-lamellar lightweight Ti-Al alloys promise a great potential, but their contribution to the deformation and fracture behavior needs to be better understood for designing optimal microstructures. To this end, we carry out linear elastic fracture mechanics informed large-scale atomistic simulations of fully lamellar microstructures consisting of the so-called ”true twin” boundaries in γ-TiAl. We find that nano-scale lamellae are not only effective in improving the fracture toughness and crack growth resistance, but also that the lamellar size controls the crack tip mechanisms. We identify a critical lamella thickness in the region between 1.64 and 3.04 nm, above which the crack tip events are primarily dislocation-based plasticity and the critical fracture initiation toughness exhibits an increasing trend with decreasing lamella size. Below the critical thickness, a decline in fracture toughness is observed and the crack tip propagation mechanisms are quasi-brittle in nature, i.e. the cleavage of atomic bonds at the crack tip is accompanied by plasticity events, such as twin-boundary migration and dislocation nucleation. A layer-wise analysis of the unstable stacking fault energy, the energy barrier for dislocation nucleation, that the critical thickness is of a similar value as the distance from the twin boundary at which bulk properties are restored. © 2022

« back