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Structural evolution and formation mechanisms of TiC/Ti nanocomposited prepared by high-energy mechanical alloying

: Gu, D.; Meiners, W.; Hagedorn, Y.-C.; Wissenbach, K.; Poprawe, R.


Journal of Physics. D. Applied Physics 43 (2010), Nr.13, Art. 135402, 11 S.
ISSN: 0022-3727
ISSN: 1361-6463
Fraunhofer ILT ()

In this work, high-energy ball milling of a micrometre-scaled Ti and TiC powder mixture was performed to prepare TiC/Ti nanocomposites. The constituent phases and microstructural characteristics of the milled powders were studied by an x-ray diffractometer, a scanning electron microscope, an energy dispersive x-ray spectroscope and a transmission electron microscope. Formation mechanisms and theoretical basis of the microstructural development were elucidated. It showed that on increasing the applied milling time, the structures of the Ti constituent experienced a successive change from hcp (5 h) to fcc (10 h) and finally to an amorphous state (?15 h). The hydrostatic stresses caused by the excess free volume at grain boundaries were calculated to be 3.96 and 5.59 GPa for the Ti constituent in 5 and 10 h milled powders, which was responsible for the hcp to fcc polymorphic change. The amorphization of Ti constituent was due to the large defect concentration induced by severe plastic deformation during milling. The milled powder particles underwent two stages of significant refinement at 10 and 20 h during milling. For a higher milling time above 25 h, powder characteristics and chemical compositions became stable. The competitive action and the final equilibrium between the mechanisms of fracturing and cold welding accounted for the microstructural evolution. The ball milled products were typically nanocomposite powders featured by a nanocrystalline/amorphous Ti matrix reinforced with uniformly dispersed TiC nanoparticles. The finest crystalline sizes of the Ti and TiC constituents were 17.2 nm (after 10 h milling) and 13.5 nm (after 20 h milling), respectively.