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Microstructural evolution in titanium matrix composites processed by multi-pass equal-channel angular pressing

Xiang, Juan, Han, Yuanfei, Huang, Guangfa, Le, Jianwen, Chen, Yue, Xiao, Lv, Lu, Weijie
Journal of materials science 2019 v.54 no.10 pp. 7931-7942
crystallization, deformation, microstructure, pressing, titanium
In this study, in situ (TiB + La₂O₃)/Ti–6Al–4V composites were processed by equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) from 1 to 3 passes, and the microstructural evolution was quantitatively investigated. The results show that dislocation slip and recombination are the main formation mechanisms of the ultrafine-grained structure. Geometrically necessary boundaries (~ 200 nm) and incidental dislocation boundaries formed cell blocks. Deformation twins were observed in ECAPed titanium matrix composites (TMCs) after the second and third passes. The grain refinement after the first pass was the most remarkable but was not homogeneous. The average grain size (AGS) was further reduced to 0.28 nm after the second pass, and the microstructure became homogeneous with increasing equivalent strain. The AGS changed little, but the fraction of high-angle grain boundaries with angles above 72° increased to approximately 19% after the third pass. TiB short fibers and La₂O₃ particles influenced the formation of ultrafine grains (UFGs) at the matrix/reinforcement interface region in different ways. Small La₂O₃ particles tend to reinforce TMCs by hindering dislocation motion through a Zener drag effect. By contrast, TiB short fibers facilitate recrystallization and the formation of UFGs through nucleation stimulated by particles and interaction with dislocations.