The relationship between fracture toughness and microstructure in titanium alloys

  • Norman L. Richards

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics has been used to study the microstructural factors controlling the strength and toughness of two alpha-beta, titanium alloys. Fracture toughness was found to be independent of orientation for alloy Ti/6A1/4-V, but orientation dependent for IMI 700, bend and tension specimens giving similar toughness values.
    Increasing the solution temperature led to the usual inverse relationship between strength and toughness, with toughness becoming a minimum as the beta transus was approached. The production of a double heat treated microstructure led to a 100% increase in toughness in the high strength alloy and a 20% increase in alloy Ti/6A1/4V, with little decrease in strength. The double heat treated microstruoture was produced by cooling from the beta field into the alpha beta field, followed. by conventional solution treatment and ageing. Forging above
    the beta transus led to an increase in toughness over alpha beta forging in the high strength alloy, but had little effect on the toughness of Ti/6A1/4V.
    Light and electron microscopy showed that the increased toughness resulted from the alpha phase being changed from mainly continuous to a discontinuous platelet form in a transformed beta matrix. Void formation occurred at the alpha-beta interface and crack propagation was via the interface or across the platelet depending on which process required the least energy.
    Varying the solution treatment temperature produced a varying interplatelet spacing and platelet thickness. The finest interplatelet spacing was associated with the highest toughness, since a higher applied stress was required to give the necessary stress concentration to initiate void formation. The thickest alpha platelet size gave the highest toughness which could be interpreted in terms of Krafftt's "process zone size" and the critical crack tip displacement criterion by Hahn and Rosenfield from an analysis by Goodier and Field.
    Date of AwardApr 1972
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJ.T. Barnby (Supervisor)


    • relationship
    • fracture toughness
    • microstructure
    • titanium alloys

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