Cyclic deformation mechanisms in precipitated NiTi shape memory alloys
Results are presented on the cyclic deformation of single crystal NiTi containing Ti3Ni4 precipitates of various sizes. Mechanical cycling experiments reveal that the cyclic degradation resistance of NiTi is strongly dependent on crystallographic orientation. Under compression, orientations approaching the  pole of the stereographic triangle possess the highest fatigue resistance. Orientations approaching the  pole of the stereographic triangle demonstrate the lowest fatigue resistance. Aging to produce small coherent Ti3Ni4 precipitates (10 nm) improves the fatigue resistance of NiTi compared to the other heat treatments (solutionized or overaged) for nearly all orientations. NiTi with 10 nm Ti3Ni4 precipitates consistently showed stabilized martensite due to mechanical cycling, and an absence of dislocation activity. Samples with large incoherent Ti3Ni4 precipitates (500 nm) consistently showed significant dislocation activity due to mechanical cycling in addition to stabilized martensite colonies. The first cycle stress-strain hysteresis was found to correlate to the fatigue resistance of the material. Samples demonstrating large inherent hysteresis, with different heat treatments and orientations, showed poor fatigue performance. Rational for the observed behaviors is discussed in terms of operant deformation mechanisms and ramifications on modeling the cyclic deformation of NiTi are presented. © 2002 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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