Zr73.5Nb9Cu7Ni1Al9.5 (numbers indicate at.%) nanostructure-dendrite composites were fabricated using three different casting techniques: suction casting, centrifugal casting and arc-melting. The microstructure of the suction casting sample consists of micrometer-scale dendrites in a nanostructured matrix. However, some areas in the matrix contain nano-scale crystals together with an amorphous phase revealing an inhomogeneity of the specimen. On the contrary, the microstructures of the centrifugally-cast and the arc-melted samples are overall homogeneous, consisting of micrometer-scale dendrites that are homogeneously distributed in a nanostructured matrix. The dendrites correspond to a body centered cubic (bcc) β-Zr phase, whereas the nanostructured matrix consists of body centered tetragonal (bct) Zr2Cu-type and hexagonal close-packed (hcp) MgZn2-type phases. The comparison of the microstructures of these two alloys reveals that the formation of nano-scale twins and a disordered ω-phase in the β-Zr dendrites only happens in the centrifugally-cast sample. The differences in the phases and the microstructures between the differently prepared samples significantly influence the corresponding mechanical properties of the specimens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering