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Definition of Brittleness: Connections Between Mechanical and Tribological Properties of Polymers.
The increasing use of polymer-based materials (PBMs) across all types of industry has not been matched by sufficient improvements in understanding of polymer tribology: friction, wear, and lubrication. Further, viscoelasticity of PBMs complicates characterization of their behavior. Using data from micro-scratch testing, it was determined that viscoelastic recovery (healing) in sliding wear is independent of the indenter force within a defined range of load values. Strain hardening in sliding wear was observed for all materials-including polymers and composites with a wide variety of chemical structures-with the exception of polystyrene (PS). The healing in sliding wear was connected to free volume in polymers by using pressure-volume-temperature (P-V-T) results and the Hartmann equation of state. A linear relationship was found for all polymers studied with again the exception of PS. The exceptional behavior of PS has been attributed qualitatively to brittleness. In pursuit of a precise description of such, a quantitative definition of brittleness has been defined in terms of the elongation at break and storage modulus-a combination of parameters derived from both static and dynamic mechanical testing. Furthermore, a relationship between sliding wear recovery and brittleness for all PBMs including PS is demonstrated. The definition of brittleness may be used as a design criterion in selecting PBMs for specific applications, while the connection to free volume improves also predictability of wear behavior.
Determination of Wear in Polymers Using Multiple Scratch Test.
Wear is an important phenomenon that occurs in all the polymer applications in one form or the other. However, important links between materials properties and wear remain illusive. Thus optimization of material properties requires proper understanding of polymer properties. Studies to date have typically lacked systematic approach to all polymers and wear test developed are specific to some polymer classes. In this thesis, different classes of polymers are selected and an attempt is made to use multiple scratch test to define wear and to create a universal test procedure that can be employed to most of the polymers. In each of the materials studied, the scratch penetration depth s reaches a constant value after certain number of scratches depending upon the polymer and its properties. Variations in test parameters like load and speed are also studied in detail to understand the behavior of polymers and under different conditions. Apart from polystyrene, all the other polymers studied under multiple scratch test reached asymptotes at different scratch numbers.
Influence of High Strain Rate Compression on Microstructure and Phase Transformation of NiTi Shape Memory Alloys
Since NiTi shape memory alloy (SMA) was discovered in the early 1960s, great progress has been made in understanding the properties and mechanisms of NiTi SMA and in developing associated products. For several decades, most of the scientific research and industrial interests on NiTi SMA has focused on its superelastic applications in the biomedical field and shape memory based “smart” devices, which involves the low strain rate (around 0.001 s^-1) response of NiTi SMA. Due to either stress-induced martensite phase transformation or stress induced martensite variant reorientation under the applied load, NiTi SMA has exhibited a high damping capacity in both austenitic and martensitic phase. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in exploitation of the high damping capacity of NiTi SMA to develop high strain rate related applications such as seismic damping elements and energy absorbing devices. However, a systematic study on the influence of strain, strain rate and temperature on the mechanical properties, phase transformation, microstructure and crystal structure is still limited, which leads to the difficulties in the design of products being subjected to high strain rate loading conditions. The four main objectives of the current research are: (1) achieve the single loading and the control of strain, constant strain rate and temperature in high strain rate compression tests of NiTi SMA specimens using Kolsky (split Hopkinson) compression bar; (2) explore the high strain rate compressive responses of NiTi SMA specimens as a function of strain (1.4%, 1.8%, 3.0%, 4.8%, and 9.6%), strain rate (400, 800 and 1200 s^-1), and temperature (room temperature (294 K) and 373 K); (3) characterize and compare the microstructure, phase transformation and crystal structure of NiTi SMAs before and after high strain rate compression; and (4) correlate high strain rate deformation with the changes of microstructure, phase transformation characteristics and crystal structure. ...
Fatigue Behavior of A356 Aluminum Alloy
Metal fatigue is a recurring problem for metallurgists and materials engineers, especially in structural applications. It has been responsible for many disastrous accidents and tragedies in history. Understanding the micro-mechanisms during cyclic deformation and combating fatigue failure has remained a grand challenge. Environmental effects, like temperature or a corrosive medium, further worsen and complicate the problem. Ultimate design against fatigue must come from a materials perspective with a fundamental understanding of the interaction of microstructural features with dislocations, under the influence of stress, temperature, and other factors. This research endeavors to contribute to the current understanding of the fatigue failure mechanisms. Cast aluminum alloys are susceptible to fatigue failure due to the presence of defects in the microstructure like casting porosities, non-metallic inclusions, non-uniform distribution of secondary phases, etc. Friction stir processing (FSP), an emerging solid state processing technique, is an effective tool to refine and homogenize the cast microstructure of an alloy. In this work, the effect of FSP on the microstructure of an A356 cast aluminum alloy, and the resulting effect on its tensile and fatigue behavior have been studied. The main focus is on crack initiation and propagation mechanisms, and how stage I and stage II cracks interact with the different microstructural features. Three unique microstructural conditions have been tested for fatigue performance at room temperature, 150 °C and 200 °C. Detailed fractography has been performed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD). These tools have also been utilized to characterize microstructural aspects like grain size, eutectic silicon particle size and distribution. Cyclic deformation at low temperatures is very sensitive to the microstructural distribution in this alloy. The findings from the room temperature fatigue tests highlight the important role played by persistent slip bands (PSBs) in fatigue crack initiation. At room ...
Stable Nanocrystalline Au Film Structures for Sliding Electrical Contacts
Hard gold thin films and coatings are widely used in electronics as an effective material to reduce the friction and wear of relatively less expensive electrically conductive materials while simultaneously seeking to provide oxidation resistance and stable sliding electrical contact resistance (ECR). The main focus of this dissertation was to synthesize nanocrystalline Au films with grain structures capable of remaining stable during thermal exposure and under sliding electrical contact stress and the passing of electrical current. Here we have utilized a physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique, electron beam evaporation, to synthesize Au films modified by ion implantation and codeposited ZnO hardened Au nanocomposites. Simultaneous friction and ECR experiments of low fluence (< 1x10^17 cm^-2) He and Ar ion implanted Au films showed reduction in friction coefficients from ~1.5 to ~0.5 and specific wear rates from ~4x10^-3 to ~6x10^-5 mm^3/N·m versus as-deposited Au films without significant change in sliding ECR (~16 mΩ). Subsurface microstructural changes of He implanted films due to tribological stress were analyzed via site-specific cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and revealed the formation of nanocrystalline grains for low energy (22.5 keV) implantation conditions as well as the growth and redistribution of cavities. Nanoindentation hardness results revealed an increase from 0.84 GPa for as-deposited Au to ~1.77 GPa for Au uniformly implanted with 1 at% He. These strength increases are correlated with an Orowan hardening mechanism that increases proportionally to (He concentration)1/3. Au-ZnO nanocomposite films in the oxide dilute regime (< 5 vol% ZnO) were investigated for low temperature aging stability in friction and ECR. Annealing at 250 °C for 24 hours Au-(2 vol%)ZnO retained a friction coefficient comparable to commercial Ni hardened Au of ~ 0.3 and sliding ECR values of ~35 mΩ. Nanoindentation hardness increases of these films (~2.6 GPa for 5 vol% ZnO) are correlated to ...
Microstructural Phase Evolution In Laser Deposited Compositionally Graded Titanium-Chromium Alloys
A compositionally graded Ti-xCr (10≤x≤30 wt%) alloy has been fabricated using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENSTM) to study the microstructural phase evolution along a compositional gradient in both as-deposited and heat treated conditions (1000°C followed by furnace cooling or air cooling). The alloys were characterized by SEM BSE imaging, XRD, EBSD, TEM and micro-hardness measurements to determine processing-structure-property relations. For the as-deposited alloy, α-Ti, β-Ti, and TiCr2 (C15 Laves) phases exist in varying phase fractions, which were influential in determining hardness values. With the furnace cooled alloy, there was more homogeneous nucleation of α phase throughout the sample with a larger phase fraction of TiCr2 resulting in increased hardness values. When compared to the air cooled alloy, there was absence of wide scale nucleation of α phase and formation of ω phase within the β phase due to the quicker cooling from elevated temperature. At lower concentrations of Cr, the kinetics resulted in a diffusionless phase transformation of ω phase with increased hardness and a lower phase fraction of TiCr2. In contrast at higher Cr concentrations, α phase separation reaction occurs where the β phase is spinodally decomposed to Cr solute-lean β1 and solute-rich β2 resulting in reduced hardness.
Reactions and Interfacial Behaviors of the Water–Amorphous Silica System from Classical and Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Due to the wide application of silica based systems ranging from microelectronics to nuclear waste disposal, detailed knowledge of water-silica interactions plays an important role in understanding fundamental processes, such as glass corrosion and the long term reliability of devices. In this dissertation, atomistic computer simulation methods have been used to explore and identify the mechanisms of water-silica reactions and the detailed processes that control the properties of the water-silica interfaces due to their ability to provide atomic level details of the structure and reaction pathways. The main challenges of the amorphous nature of the silica based systems and nano-porosity of the structures were overcome by a combination of simulation methodologies based on classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with Reactive Force Field (ReaxFF) and density functional theory (DFT) based ab initio MD simulations. Through the development of nanoporous amorphous silica structure models, the interactions between water and the complex unhydroxylated internal surfaces identified the unusual stability of strained siloxane bonds in high energy ring structure defects, as well as the hydroxylation reaction kinetics, which suggests the difficulty in using DFT methods to simulate Si-O bond breakage with reasonable efficiency. Another important problem addressed is the development of silica gel structures and their interfaces, which is considered to control the long term residual dissolution rate in borosilicate glasses. Through application of the ReaxFF classical MD potential, silica gel structures which mimic the development of interfacial layers during silica dissolution were created A structural model, consisting of dense silica, silica gel, and bulk water, and the related interfaces was generated, to represent the dissolution gel structure. High temperature evolution of the silica-gel-water (SGW) structure was performed through classical MD simulation of the system, and growth of the gel into the water region occurred, as well as the formation of intermediate range structural ...
Surface Topography and Aesthetics of Recycled Cross-Linked Polyethylene Wire and Cable Coatings
Our research focuses on re-using a waste a material, cross-linked polyethylene abbreviated XLPE, which is a widely used coating for wires. XLPE is strong and has excellent thermal properties due to its chemical structure - what leads to the significance of recycling this valuable polymer. Properties of XLPE include good resistance to heat, resistance to chemical corrosion, and high impact strength. A wire is usually composed of a metal core conductor and polymeric coating layers. One creates a new coating, including little pieces of recycled XLPE in the lower layer adjacent to the wire, and virgin XLPE only in the upper layer. Industries are often wasting materials which might be useful. Mostly, some returned or excess products could be recycled to create a new type of product or enable the original use. This method helps cleaning the waste, lowers the costs, and enhances the income of the manufacturing company. With the changing of the thickness of the outer layer, the roughness changes significantly. Moreover, different processing methods result in surfaces that look differently.
Microstructure for Enhanced Plasticity and Toughness
Magnesium is the lightest metal with a very high specific strength. However, its practical applicability is limited by its toughness and reliability. Mg, being HCP has low ductility. This makes the improvement of toughness a grand challenge in Mg alloys. Friction stir processing (FSP) is a thermomechanical technique used to effect microstructural modification. Here, FSP was utilized to affect the toughness of WE43 sheets through microstructural modification. Room temperature Kahn-type tests were conducted to measure the toughness of WE43 sheets. Microscopic techniques (SEM, TEM) was utilized to study the effect of various microstructural factors like grain size, texture, constituent particles, precipitates on crack initiation and propagation. Tensile properties were evaluated by mini-tensile tests. Crack growth in WE43 sheets was also affected by mechanics and digital image correlation (DIC) was utilized to study the plastic zone size. The underlying mechanisms affecting toughness of these sheets were understood which will help in formulating ways in improving it. WE43 nanocomposites were fabricated via FSP. Uniform distribution of reinforcements was obtained in the composites. Improved mechanical properties like that of enhanced strength, increased hardness and stiffness were obtained. But contrary to other metal matrix composites which show reduction in ductility with incorporation of ceramic reinforcements, the nanocomposites showed good strength-ductility combination. The composites were precisely characterized and mechanisms governing this property were studied. The nano-length of the reinforcements was observed to be the main criteria and the dislocation-particle interaction, the main reason behind the strength-ductility property.
Friction Stir Welding of Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum 7449 Alloys
The Al-Zn-Mg-Cu (7XXX series) alloys are amongst the strongest aluminum available. However, they are considered unweldable with conventional fusion techniques due to the negative effects that arise with conventional welding, including hydrogen porosity, hot cracking, and stress corrosion cracking. For this reason, friction stir welding has emerged as the preferred technique to weld 7XXX series alloys. Aluminum 7449 is one of the highest strength 7XXX series aluminum alloy. This is due to its higher zinc content, which leads to a higher volume fraction of eta' precipitates. It is typically used in a slight overaged condition since it exhibits better corrosion resistance. In this work, the welds of friction stir welded aluminum 7449 were studied extensively. Specific focus was placed in the heat affected zone (HAZ) and nugget. Thermocouples were used in the heat affected zone for three different depths to obtain thermal profiles as well as cooling/heating profiles. Vicker microhardness testing, transmission electron microscope (TEM), and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) were used to characterize the welds. Two different tempers of the alloy were used, a low overaged temper and a high overaged temper. A thorough comparison of the two different tempers was done. It was found that highly overaged aluminum 7449 tempers show better properties for friction stir welding. A heat gradient along with a high conducting plate (Cu) used at the bottom of the run, resulted in welds with two separate microstructures in the nugget. Due to the microstructure at the bottom of the nugget, higher strength than the base metal is observed. Furthermore, the effects of natural aging and artificial aging were studied to understand re-precipitation. Large improvements in strength are observed after natural aging throughout the welds, including improvements in the HAZ.
In Vitro Behavior of AZ31B Mg-Hydroxyapatite Metallic Matrix Composite Surface Fabricated via Friction Stir Processing
Magnesium and its alloys have been considered for load-bearing implant materials due to their similar mechanical properties to the natural bone, excellent biocompatibility, good bioactivity, and biodegradation. Nevertheless, the uncontrollable corrosion rate in biological environment restrains their application. Hydroxyapatite (HA, Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2) is a widely used bio-ceramic which has bone-like mineral structure for bone fixation. Poor fracture toughness of HA makes it not suitable for load-bearing application as a bulk. Thus, HA is introduced into metallic surface in various forms for improving biocompatibility. Recently friction stir processing (FSP) has emerged as a surface modification tool for surface/substrate grain refinement and homogenization of microstructure in biomaterial. In the pressent efforts, Mg-nHA composite surface on with 5-20 wt% HA on Mg substrate were fabricated by FSP for biodegradation and bioactivity study. The results of electrochemical measurement indicated that lower amount (~5% wt%) of Ca in Mg matrix can enhance surface localized corrosion resistance. The effects of microstructure,the presence of HA particle and Mg-Ca intermetallic phase precipitates on in vitro behavior of Mg alloy were investigated by TEM, SEM, EDX,XRD ,and XPS. The detailed observations will be discussed during presentation.
Thermomechanical Processing, Additive Manufacturing and Alloy Design of High Strength Mg Alloys
The recent emphasis on magnesium alloys can be appreciated by following the research push from several agencies, universities and editorial efforts. With a density equal to two-thirds of Al and one-thirds of steel, Mg provides the best opportunity for lightweighting of metallic components. However, one key bottleneck restricting its insertion into industrial applications is low strength values. In this respect, Mg-Y-Nd alloys have been promising due to their ability to form strengthening precipitates on the prismatic plane. However, if the strength is compared to Al alloys, these alloys are not attractive. The primary reason for low structural performance in Mg is related to low alloying and microstructural efficiency. In this dissertation, these terminologies are discussed in detail. A simple calculation showed that the microstructural efficiency in Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy is 30% of its maximum potential. Guided by the definitions of alloying and microstructural efficiency, the two prime objectives of this thesis were to: (i) to use thermomechanical processing routes to tailor the microstructure and achieve high strength in an Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy, and (ii) optimize the alloy chemistry of the Mg-rare earth alloy and design a novel rare—earth free Mg alloy by Calphad approach to achieve a strength of 500 MPa. Experimental, theoretical and computational approaches have been used to establish the process-structure-property relationships in an Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy. For example, increase in strength was observed after post aging of the friction stir processed/additive manufactured microstructure. This was attributed to the dissolution of Mg2Y particles which increased the alloying and microstructural efficiency. Further quantification by numerical modeling showed that the effective diffusivity during friction stir processing and friction stir welding is 60 times faster than in the absence of concurrent deformation leading to the dissolution of thermally stable particles. In addition, the investigation on the interaction between dislocations and strengthening precipitate revealed that, ...
Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Diffraction of Nickel-Titanium Shape Memory Alloy Wires during Mechanical Deformation
Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are a new generation material which exhibits unique nonlinear deformations due to a phase transformation which allows it to return to its original shape after removal of stress or a change in temperature. It shows a shape memory effect (martensitic condition) and pseudoelasticity (austenitic condition) properties depends on various heat treatment conditions. The reason for these properties depends on phase transformation through temperature changes or applied stress. Many technological applications of austenite SMAs involve cyclical mechanical loading and unloading in order to take advantage of pseudoelasticity, but are limited due to poor fatigue life. In this thesis, I investigated two important mechanical feature to fatigue behavior in pseudoelastic NiTi SMA wires using high energy synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction (SR-XRD). The first of these involved simple bending and the second of these involved relaxation during compression loading. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was performed to identify the phase transformation temperatures. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images were collected for the initial condition of the NiTi SMA wires and during simple bending, SEM revealed that micro-cracks in compression regions of the wire propagate with increasing bend angle, while tensile regions tend to not exhibit crack propagation. SR-XRD patterns were analyzed to study the phase transformation and investigate micromechanical properties. By observing the various diffraction peaks such as the austenite (200) and the martensite (100), (110), and (101) planes, intensities and residual strain values exhibit strong anisotropy depending upon whether the sample is in compression or tension during simple bending. This research provides insight into two specific mechanical features in pseudoelastic NiTi SMA wires.
Improving the Long-term Performance of PVC Compositions
PVC are extensively applied in many fields, such as cables, pipes, vehicles, shoes, toys and infusion bags. Generally, plasticizers are blended with PVC to improve the ability of process in industrial production; however, the toxic plasticizers will gradually migrate to the surface of products and such a leakage results in brittleness of plasticized PVC and environmental pollution. In other words, humans are frequently exposed to the potential risks. According to previous researches, cross-linked PVC was proved that it was able to hinder the migration of plasticizer. Thus, in this research, we selected some commercially used cross-linking agents and employed six different tests based on mechanical, tribological and microscopy analysis in order to seek the best solution against plasticizer migration. Thus, we expected to develop a cross-linked flexible PVC which performed improved long-term performance and extended lifetime.
Sliding Friction and Wear Behavior of High Entropy Alloys at Room and Elevated Temperatures
Structure-tribological property relations have been studied for five high entropy alloys (HEAs). Microhardness, room and elevated (100°C and 300°C) temperature sliding friction coefficients and wear rates were determined for five HEAs: Co0.5 Cr Cu0.5 Fe Ni1.5 Al Ti0.4; Co Cr Fe Ni Al0.25 Ti0.75; Ti V Nb Cr Al; Al0.3CoCrFeNi; and Al0.3CuCrFeNi2. Wear surfaces were characterized with scanning electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy to determine the wear mechanisms and tribochemical phases, respectively. It was determined that the two HEAs Co0.5 Cr Cu0.5 Fe Ni1.5 Al Ti0.4 and Ti V Nb Cr Al exhibit an excellent balance of high hardness, low friction coefficients and wear rates compared to 440C stainless steel, a currently used bearing steel. This was attributed to their more ductile body centered cubic (BCC) solid solution phase along with the formation of tribochemical Cr oxide and Nb oxide phases, respectively, in the wear surfaces. This study provides guidelines for fabricating novel, low-friction, and wear-resistant HEAs for potential use at room and elevated temperatures, which will help reduce energy and material losses in friction and wear applications.
Nanohybrids Based on Solid and Foam Polyurethanes
Polymer nanocomposites are a going part of Materials Science and Engineering. These new composite materials exhibit dimensional and thermal stability of inorganic materials and toughness and dielectric properties of polymers. Development of nanocomposites become an important approach to create high-performance composite materials. In this study silica, fly ash, silica nanotubes and carbon black particles have been added to modify polyurethane foam and thermoplastic polyurethanes. It has been found that the addition of silica can diminish the size of foam bubbles, resulting in an increased stiffness of the material, increase of the compressive strength, and greater resistance to deformation. However, the uniformity of bubbles is reduced, resulting in increased friction of the material. Fly ash added to the foam can make bubbles smaller and improve uniformity of cells. Therefore, the material stiffness and compressive strength, resistance to deformation, and has little impact on the dynamic friction of the material. Adding nanotubes make bubble size unequal, and the arrangement of the bubble uneven, resulting in decreased strength of the material, while the friction increases. After the addition of carbon black to the polyurethane foam, due to the special surface structure of the carbon black, the foam generates more bubbles during the foaming process changing the foam structure. Therefore, the material becomes soft, we obtain a flexible polyurethane foam. The results of mechanical properties determination of the thermoplastic polyurethane that adding particles may increase the stiffness and wear resistance of the thermoplastic polyurethane, while the tensile properties of the material are reduced. This phenomenon may be due to agglomeration of particles during the mixing process. Possibly the particles cannot be uniformly dispersed in the thermoplastic polyurethane.
Computational Study of Dislocation Based Mechanisms in FCC Materials
Understanding the relationships between microstructures and properties of materials is a key to developing new materials with more suitable qualities or employing the appropriate materials in special uses. In the present world of material research, the main focus is on microstructural control to cost-effectively enhance properties and meet performance specifications. This present work is directed towards improving the fundamental understanding of the microscale deformation mechanisms and mechanical behavior of metallic alloys, particularly focusing on face centered cubic (FCC) structured metals through a unique computational methodology called three-dimensional dislocation dynamics (3D-DD). In these simulations, the equations of motion for dislocations are mathematically solved to determine the evolution and interaction of dislocations. Microstructure details and stress-strain curves are a direct observation in the simulation and can be used to validate experimental results. The effect of initial dislocation microstructure on the yield strength has been studied. It has been shown that dislocation density based crystal plasticity formulations only work when dislocation densities/numbers are sufficiently large so that a statistically accurate description of the microstructure can be obtainable. The evolution of the flow stress for grain sizes ranging from 0.5 to 10 µm under uniaxial tension was simulated using an improvised model by integrating dislocation pile-up mechanism at grain boundaries has been performed. This study showed that for a same initial dislocation density, the Hall–Petch relationship holds well at small grain sizes (0.5–2 µm), beyond which the yield strength remains constant as the grain size increases.
Gamma Prime Precipitation Mechanisms and Solute Partitioning in Ni-base Alloys
Nickel-base superalloys have been emerged as materials for gas turbines used for jet propulsion and electricity generation. The strength of the superalloys depends mainly from an ordered precipitates of L12 structure, so called gamma prime (γ’) dispersed within the disorder γ matrix. The Ni-base alloys investigated in this dissertation comprise both model alloy systems based on Ni-Al-Cr and Ni-Al-Co as well as the commercial alloy Rene N5. Classical nucleation and growth mechanism dominates the γ’ precipitation process in slowed-cooled Ni-Al-Cr alloys. The effect of Al and Cr additions on γ’ precipitate size distribution as well as morphological and compositional development of γ’ precipitates were characterized by coupling transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 3D atom probe (3DAP) techniques. Rapid quenching Ni-Al-Cr alloy experiences a non-classical precipitation mechanism. Structural evolution of the γ’ precipitates formed and subsequent isothermal annealing at 600 °C were investigated by coupling TEM and synchrotron-based high-energy x-ray diffraction (XRD). Compositional evolution of the non-classically formed γ’ precipitates was determined by 3DAP and Langer, Bar-on and Miller (LBM) method. Besides homogeneous nucleation, the mechanism of heterogeneous γ’ precipitation involving a discontinuous precipitation mechanism, as a function of temperature, was the primary focus of study in case of the Ni-Al-Co alloy. This investigation coupled SEM, SEM-EBSD, TEM and 3DAP techniques. Lastly, solute partitioning and enrichment of minor refractory elements across/at the γ/ γ’ interfaces in the commercially used single crystal Rene N5 superalloy was investigated by using an advantage of nano-scale composition investigation of 3DAP technique.
Laser Surface Alloying of Refractory Metals on Aluminum for Enhanced Corrosion Resistance: Experimental and Computational Approaches
Aluminum (Al) and its alloys are widely used in various technological applications, mainly due to the excellent thermal conductivity, non-magnetic, ecofriendly, easy formability and good recyclability. However due to the inferior corrosion resistance its applications are hampered in various engineering sectors. Besides, the corrosion related failures such as leakage of gas from pipeline, catastrophic breakdown of bridges and fire accidents in processing plants further puts the human life in jeopardy. Within the United States over $ 400 billion dollars per year are spent over research to understand and prevent the corrosion related failures. Recently, the development of transition metal(TM) aluminides (AlxTMy, where, TM = Mo, W, Ta, Nb, Cr, Zr and V) has received the global attention mainly due to high strength at elevated temperatures, light-weight, excellent corrosion and wear resistance. In light of this, surface modification via laser surface alloying (LSA) is a promising engineering approach to mitigate the corrosion and wear problems. In the present study the attempts are made to study the Al-Mo, Al-W, Al-Nb, and Al-Ta systems as a potential corrosion resistant coatings on aluminum. The refractory metal (Mo, W, Nb, Ta) precursor deposit was spray coated separately on aluminum substrate and was subsequently surface alloyed using a continuous wave diode-pumped ytterbium laser at varying laser energy densities. Microstructural analysis was conducted using scanning electron microscopy and further X-ray diffractometry was carried out to evaluate the various phases evolved during laser surface alloying. Corrosion resistance of laser alloyed coatings were evaluated using open circuit potential, cyclic potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements were performed in 0.6 M NaCl solution (pH:6.9±0.2, 23˚C). Open circuit potential measurements indicate the more stable (steady state) potential values over long periods after laser surface alloying. Cyclic polarization results indicated reduction in the corrosion current density, enhancement in the polarization resistance, and ...
Laser Surface Treatment of Amorphous Metals
Amorphous materials are used as soft magnetic materials and also as surface coatings to improve the surface properties. Furthermore, the nanocrystalline materials derived from their amorphous precursors show superior soft magnetic properties than amorphous counter parts for transformer core applications. In the present work, laser based processing of amorphous materials will be presented. Conventionally, the nanocrystalline materials are synthesized by furnace heat treatment of amorphous precursors. Fe-based amorphous/nanocrystalline materials due to their low cost and superior magnetic properties are the most widely used soft magnetic materials. However, achieving nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B ternary system becomes very difficult owing its rapid growth rate at higher temperatures and sluggish diffusion at low temperature annealing. Hence, nanocrystallization in this system is achieved by using alloying additions (Cu and Nb) in the ternary Fe-Si-B system. Thus, increasing the cost and also resulting in reduction of saturation magnetization. laser processing technique is used to achieve extremely fine nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B amorphous precursor. Microstructure-magnetic Property-laser processing co-relationship has been established for Fe-Si-B ternary system using analytical techniques. Laser processing improved the magnetic properties with significant increase in saturation magnetization and near zero coercivity values. Amorphous materials exhibit excellent corrosion resistance by virtue of their atomic structure. Fe-based amorphous materials are economical and due to their ease of processing are of potential interest to synthesize as coatings materials for wear and corrosion resistance applications. Fe-Cr-Mo-Y-C-B amorphous system was used to develop thick coatings on 4130 Steel substrate and the corrosion resistance of the amorphous coatings was improved. It is also shown that the mode of corrosion depends on the laser processing conditions. The microstructure evolution and the corrosion mechanisms operating are evaluated using post processing and post corrosion analysis.
An Integrated Approach to Determine Phenomenological Equations in Metallic Systems
It is highly desirable to be able to make predictions of properties in metallic materials based upon the composition of the material and the microstructure. Unfortunately, the complexity of real, multi-component, multi-phase engineering alloys makes the provision of constituent-based (i.e., composition or microstructure) phenomenological equations extremely difficult. Due to these difficulties, qualitative predictions are frequently used to study the influence of microstructure or composition on the properties. Neural networks were used as a tool to get a quantitative model from a database. However, the developed model is not a phenomenological model. In this study, a new method based upon the integration of three separate modeling approaches, specifically artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and monte carlo was proposed. These three methods, when coupled in the manner described in this study, allows for the extraction of phenomenological equations with a concurrent analysis of uncertainty. This approach has been applied to a multi-component, multi-phase microstructure exhibiting phases with varying spatial and morphological distributions. Specifically, this approach has been applied to derive a phenomenological equation for the prediction of yield strength in a+b processed Ti-6-4. The equation is consistent with not only the current dataset but also, where available, the limited information regarding certain parameters such as intrinsic yield strength of pure hexagonal close-packed alpha titanium.
Silver Tantalate: a High Temperature Tribological Investigation
As technology advances, mechanical and electrical systems are subjugated to intense temperature fluctuations through their service life. Designing coatings that operate in extreme temperatures is, therefore, a continuing challenge within the tribology community. Silver tantalate was chosen for investigation at the atomic level, the physical and chemical properties that influence the thermal, mechanical, and tribological behavior for moving assemblies in high temperature tribological applications. By correlating behavior of internal physical processes to the macro tribological behavior, the tribological community will potentially gain improved predicative performance of solid lubricants in future investigations. Three different approaches were explored for the creation of such materials on Inconel substrates: (1) powders produced using a solid state which were burnished on the surface; (2) monolithic silver tantalate thin films deposited by magnetron sputtering; and, (3) an adaptive tantalum nitride/silver nanocomposite sputter-deposited coating that forms a lubricious silver tantalate oxide on its surface when operated at elevated temperatures. Dry sliding wear tests of the coatings against Si3N4 counterfaces revealed friction coefficients in the 0.06 - 0.15 range at T ~ 750 °C. Reduced friction coefficients were found in nanocomposite materials that contained primarily a AgTaO3 phase with a small amount of segregated Ag phase, as suggested by structural characterization using X-ray diffraction. The presence of nanoparticles of segregated Ag in the thin films further enhanced the performance of these materials by increasing their toughness. Additional characterization of the AgTaO3 films at 750 °C under normal loads of 1, 2, 5, or 10 N revealed that the friction monotonically increased as the load was increased. These results were complemented by molecular dynamics simulations, which confirmed the increase of friction with load. Further, the simulations support the hypothesis that this trend can be explained in terms of decreased presence of Ag clusters near the sliding surface and the ...
Effect of Friction-stir Processing on the Wear Behavior of Titanium (Ti-1Al-8V-5Fe) and Stainless Steel (A-286) Alloys
The effect of friction stir processing (FSP) on the mechanical wear behavior was investigated for Ti-1Al-8V-5Fe (Ti-185) and stainless steel (Incoloy® A-286) alloys. The Ti-185 and A-286 alloys were tested in different processing conditions, including as rolled (AR), AR+FSP, and AR+FSP+aged. A high frequency reciprocating rig was used to simulate fretting-type wear of these alloys at room temperature. The Vickers micro-hardness and wear rates were calculated and compared for each processing condition. It was determined that along with increasing hardness in the stir zones, FSP resulted in improved wear resistance for both alloys. Specifically, wear rates in the stir zones were reduced to lowest values of 1.6 x 10-5 and 5.8 x 10-7 mm3/N·m for the AR+FSP+aged Ti-185 and A-286 alloys, respectively, despite lower hardness for A-286 alloy. Mechanistic studies were conducted to determine the reason behind these improvements in wear resistance and the effect of FSP on the microstructural evolution during wear. For the Ti-185 alloy, x-ray diffraction revealed that there was a phase transformation from β-Ti (AR+FSP) to α-Ti (AR+FSP+aged). This phase decomposition resulted in the harder and stiffer Ti phase responsible for lowering of wear rate in Ti-185. While x-ray diffraction confirmed the A-286 alloy retains its austenitic structure for all conditions, scanning electron microscopy revealed completely different wear track morphology structures. There was increased coarse abrasion (galling) with the AR+aged A-286 alloy compared to the much finer-scale abrasion with the AR+FSP+aged alloy, which was responsible for smaller and less abrasive wear debris, and hence lower wear rate. Furthermore, cross-sectional focused ion beam microscopy studies inside the stir zone of AR+FSP+aged A-286 alloy determined that a) increased micro-hardness was due to FSP-induced microscopic grain refinement, and b) the corresponding wear rate decrease was due to even finer wear-induced grain refinement. With both effects combined, the level of ...
Atomistic Simulations of Deformation Mechanisms in Ultra-Light Weight Mg-Li Alloys
Mg alloys have spurred a renewed academic and industrial interest because of their ultra-light-weight and high specific strength properties. Hexagonal close packed Mg has low deformability and a high plastic anisotropy between basal and non-basal slip systems at room temperature. Alloying with Li and other elements is believed to counter this deficiency by activating non-basal slip by reducing their nucleation stress. In this work I study how Li addition affects deformation mechanisms in Mg using atomistic simulations. In the first part, I create a reliable and transferable concentration dependent embedded atom method (CD-EAM) potential for my molecular dynamics study of deformation. This potential describes the Mg-Li phase diagram, which accurately describes the phase stability as a function of Li concentration and temperature. Also, it reproduces the heat of mixing, lattice parameters, and bulk moduli of the alloy as a function of Li concentration. Most importantly, our CD-EAM potential reproduces the variation of stacking fault energy for basal, prismatic, and pyramidal slip systems that influences the deformation mechanisms as a function of Li concentration. This success of CD-EAM Mg-Li potential in reproducing different properties, as compared to literature data, shows its reliability and transferability. Next, I use this newly created potential to study the effect of Li addition on deformation mechanisms in Mg-Li nanocrystalline (NC) alloys. Mg-Li NC alloys show basal slip, pyramidal type-I slip, tension twinning, and two-compression twinning deformation modes. Li addition reduces the plastic anisotropy between basal and non-basal slip systems by modifying the energetics of Mg-Li alloys. This causes the solid solution softening. The inverse relationship between strength and ductility therefore suggests a concomitant increase in alloy ductility. A comparison of the NC results with single crystal deformation results helps to understand the qualitative and quantitative effect of Li addition in Mg on nucleation stress and fault ...
Titanium Boride Formation and Its Subsequent Influence on Morphology and Crystallography of Alpha Precipitates in Titanium Alloys
Over the last two decades there has been an increased interest in understanding the influence of trace boron additions in Ti alloys. These additions refine the prior β grain size in as-cast Ti alloys along with increasing their modulus and yield strength due to the precipitation of TiB. TiB also acts as a heterogeneous nucleation site for α precipitation and has been shown to influence the α phase morphology. B is completely soluble in liquid Ti but has a negligible solubility in both body centered cubic β and hexagonal close packed α phases of Ti. Thus, during solidification of hypoeutectic B containing alloys, B is rejected from β into the liquid where it reacts with Ti to form pristine single crystal whiskers of TiB. Despite a substantial amount of reported experimental work on the characterization of TiB precipitates, its formation mechanism and influence on α phase precipitation are still not clear. The current work is divided into two parts – (i) understanding the mechanism of TiB formation using first principles based density functional theory (DFT) calculations and (ii) elucidating how TiB influences the α phase morphology and crystallography in titanium alloys using electron microscopy techniques. TiB exhibits anisotropic growth morphology with [010] direction as its predominant growth direction and displays a hexagonal cross section with (100), (101), and (10) as the bounding planes. A high density of stacking faults has been experimentally observed on the (100) plane. The present study, by using DFT based nudged elastic band (NEB) calculations, elucidates for the first time that the diffusion of B through TiB is via an interstitial-assisted mechanism as opposed to vacancy-assisted mechanism hypothesized in literature. This one dimensional interstitial-assisted diffusion results in the anisotropic growth of TiB. In addition, the energetics of TiB- α interfaces was calculated to understand the hexagonal ...
Ternary Oxide Structures for High Temperature Lubrication
In this research, a temperature dependent tribological investigation of selected ternary oxides was undertaken. Based on the promising results of previous studies on silver based ternary oxides, copper based ternary oxides were selected to conduct a comparative study since both copper and silver are located in the same group in the periodic table of the elements. Two methods were used to create ternary oxides: (i) solid chemical synthesis to create powders and (ii) sputtering to produce thin films. X-ray diffraction was used to explore the evolution of phases, chemical properties, and structural properties of the coatings before and after tribotesting. Scanning electron microscopy, Auger scanning nanoprobe spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to investigate the chemical and morphological properties of these materials after sliding tests. These techniques revealed that chameleon coatings of copper ternary oxides produce a friction coefficient of 0.23 when wear tested at 430 °C. The low friction is due to the formation of copper tantalate phase and copper in the coatings. All sputtering coatings showed similar tribological properties up to 430 °C.
Solid Lubrication Mechanisms in Laser Deposited Nickel-titanium-carbon Metal Matrix Composites
A Ni/TiC/C metal matrix composite (MMC) has been processed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENS) process from commercially available powders with a Ni-3Ti-20C (atomic %) composition. This processing route produces the in-situ formation of homogeneously distributed eutectic and primary titanium carbide and graphite precipitates throughout the Ni matrix. The composite exhibits promising tribological properties when tested in dry sliding conditions with a low steady state coefficient of friction (CoF) of ~0.1 and lower wear rates in comparison to LENS deposited pure Ni. The as deposited and tribologically worn composite has been characterized using Auger electron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), dual beam focused ion beam SEM (FIB/SEM) serial sectioning and Vickers micro-hardness testing. The evolution of subsurface stress states and precipitate motion during repeated sliding contact has been investigated using finite element analysis (FEA). The results of FIB/SEM serial sectioning, HRTEM, and Auger electron spectroscopy in conjunction with FEA simulations reveal that the improved tribological behavior is due to the in-situ formation of a low interfacial shear strength amorphous carbon tribofilm that is extruded to the surface via refined Ni grain boundaries.
Computational Studies on Structures and Ionic Diffusion of Bioactive Glasses
Bioactive glasses are a class of synthetic inorganic material that have wide orthopedics, dentistry, tissue engineering and other biomedical applications. The origin of the bioactivity is closely related to the atomic structures of these novel glass materials, which otherwise lack long range order and defies any direct experimental measurements due to their amorphous nature. The structure of bioactive glasses is thus essential for the understanding of bioactive behaviors and eventually rational design of glass compositions. In this dissertation, molecular dynamics (MD) and reverse monte carlo (RMC) based computer simulations have been used to systematically study the atomic structure of three classes of new bioactive glasses: strontium doped 45S5 Bioglass®, ZnO-SrO containing bioactive glasses, and Cao-MgO-P2O5-SiO2 bioactive glasses. Properties such as ionic diffusion that are important to glass dissolution behaviors are also examined as a function of glass compositions. The accuracy of structure model generated by simulation was validated by comparing with various experimental measurements including X-ray/neutron diffraction, NMR and Raman spectroscopy. It is shown in this dissertation that atomistic computer simulations, when integrated with structural and property characterizations, is an effective tool in understanding the structural origin of bioactivity and other properties of amorphous bioactive materials that can lead to design of novel materials for biomedical applications.
First Principles Study of Metastable Beta Titanium Alloys
The high temperature BCC phase (b) of titanium undergoes a martensitic transformation to HCP phase (a) upon cooling, but can be stabilized at room temperature by alloying with BCC transition metals such as Mo. There exists a metastable composition range within which the alloyed b phase separates into a + b upon equilibrium cooling but not when rapidly quenched. Compositional partitioning of the stabilizing element in as-quenched b microstructure creates nanoscale precipitates of a new simple hexagonal w phase, which considerably reduces ductility. These phase transformation reactions have been extensively studied experimentally, yet several significant questions remain: (i) The mechanism by which the alloying element stabilizes the b phase, thwarts its transformation to w, and how these processes vary as a function of the concentration of the stabilizing element is unclear. (ii) What is the atomistic mechanism responsible for the non-Arrhenius, anomalous diffusion widely observed in experiments, and how does it extend to low temperatures? How does the concentration of the stabilizing elements alter this behavior? There are many other w forming alloys that such exhibit anomalous diffusion behavior. (iii) A lack of clarity remains on whether w can transform to a -phase in the crystal bulk or if it occurs only at high-energy regions such as grain boundaries. Furthermore, what is the nature of the a phase embryo? (iv) Although previous computational results discovered a new wa transformation mechanism in pure Ti with activation energy lower than the classical Silcock pathway, it is at odds with the a / b / w orientation relationship seen in experiments. First principles calculations based on density functional theory provide an accurate approach to study such nanoscale behavior with full atomistic resolution, allowing investigation of the complex structural and chemical effects inherent in the alloyed state. In the present work, a model Ti-Mo ...
Anisotropic Nature of Radially Strained Metal Tubes
Metal pipes are sometimes swaged by a metal cone to enlarge them, which increases the strain in the material. The amount of strain is important because it affects the burst and collapse strength. Burst strength is the amount of internal pressure that a pipe can withstand before failure, while collapse strength is the amount of external pressure that a pipe can withstand before failure. If the burst or collapse strengths are exceeded, the pipe may fracture, causing critical failure. Such an event could cost the owners and their customers millions of dollars in clean up, repair, and lost time, in addition to the potential environmental damage. Therefore, a reliable way of estimating the burst and collapse strength of strained pipe is desired and valuable. The sponsor currently rates strained pipes using the properties of raw steel, because those properties are easily measured (for example, yield strength). In the past, the engineers assumed that the metal would be work-hardened when swaged, so that yield strength would increase. However, swaging introduces anisotropic strain, which may decrease the yield strength. This study measured the yield strength of strained material in the transverse and axial direction and compared them to raw material, to determine the amount of anisotropy. This information will be used to more accurately determine burst and collapse ratings for strained pipes. More accurate ratings mean safer products, which will minimize risk for the sponsor’s customers. Since the strained metal has a higher yield strength than the raw material, using the raw yield strength to calculate burst and collapse ratings is a conservative method. The metal has even higher yield strength after strain aging, which indicates that the stresses are relieved. Even with the 12% anisotropy in the strained and 9% anisotropy in the strain aged specimens, the raw yield strengths are ...
Processing and Characterization of Polycarbonate Foams with Supercritical Co2 and 5-Phenyl-1H-tetrazole
Since their discovery in the 1930s, polymeric foams have been widely used in the industry for a variety of applications such as acoustical and thermal insulation, filters, absorbents etc. The reason for this ascending trend can be attributed to factors such as cost, ease of processing and a high strength to weight ratio compared to non-foamed polymers. The purpose of this project was to develop an “indestructible” material made of polycarbonate (PC) for industrial applications. Due to the high price of polycarbonate, two foaming methods were investigated to reduce the amount of material used. Samples were foamed physically in supercritical CO2 or chemically with 5-phenyl-1H-tetrazole. After thermal characterization of the foams in differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), we saw that none of the foaming methods had an influence on the glass transition of polycarbonate. Micrographs taken in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that foams obtained in physical and chemical foaming had different structures. Indeed, samples foamed in supercritical CO2 exhibited a microcellular opened-cell structure with a high cell density and a homogeneous cell distribution. On the other hand, samples foamed with 5-phenyl-1H-tetrazole had a macrocellular closed-cell structure with a much smaller cell density and a random cell distribution. Compression testing showed that polycarbonate foamed physically had a compression modulus a lot greater. Then, XLPE mesh 35 or 50 and wollastonite were added to the polymeric matrices to enhance the foaming process and the mechanical properties. DSC experiments showed that the addition of fillers changed the thermal properties of polycarbonate for both foaming methods by inducing a shift in glass transition. SEM revealed that fillers lowered the average cell diameter and increased the cell density. This phenomenon increased the compression modulus for polycarbonate foamed in supercritical CO2. However, mechanical properties decreased for samples foamed with 5-phenyl-1H-tetrazole due to their relative brittleness and ...
Plasma Interactions on Organosilicate Glass Dielectric Films and Emerging Amorphous Materials- Approach to Pore Sealing and Chemical Modifications
In-situ x-ray photoemission (XPS) and ex-situ FTIR studies of nanoporous organosilicate glass (OSG) films point to the separate roles of radicals vs. VUV photons in the carbon abstraction. The studies indicate that reaction with O2 in presence of VUV photons (~123 nm) result in significant carbon abstraction within the bulk and that the kinetics of this process is diffusion-limited. In contrast, OSG exposed to atomic O (no VUV) results in Si-C bond scission and Si-O bond formation, but this process is self-limiting after formation of ~1 nm thick SiO2 surface layer that inhibits further diffusion. Therefore, the diffusion-dominated kinetics of carbon abstraction observed for OSG exposed to O2 plasma is definitively attributed to the diffusion of O2 down OSG nanopores, reacting at photo-activated sites, rather than to the diffusion of atomic O. Pretreatment of OSG by 900 eV Ar+ ion bombardment also results in formation of 1 nm thick SiO2-like surface overlayer that inhibits O2 diffusion, inhibiting VUV+O2 and O2 plasma-induced reactions, and that the effectiveness of this treatment increases with ion kinetic energy. On the contrary, organosilicate glass (OSG) films with backbone carbon (-Si-R-Si-) exhibit significantly enhanced resistance to carbon loss upon exposure to O2 plasma, radicals and VUV+O2 compared to films with terminal methyl groups (Si-CH3). Films incorporating backbone carbon chains (-Si-R-Si-) were deposited from 1,2 bis (triethoxysilyl) ethane (BTESE) precursor by ebeam or plasma cross-linking. The radical effects on BTESE film indicates negligible carbon loss or Si oxidation, combined with C-O bond formation, under conditions where OSG films with terminal methyl groups exhibit > 80% carbon loss within the surface region of the film. C-O bond formation is never observed for terminal CH3 groups. Further, backbone carbon (-Si-R-Si-) films exposed to VUV+O2 exhibit self-limiting, minimal net carbon loss. This indicates that plasma-induced Si-C bond rupture still occurs ...
Deformation Micro-mechanisms of Simple and Complex Concentrated FCC Alloys
The principal objective of this work was to elucidate the effect of microstructural features on the intrinsic dislocation mechanisms in two FCC alloys. First alloy Al0.1CoCrFeNi was from a new class of material known as complex concentrated alloys, particularly high entropy alloys (HEA). The second was a conventional Al-Mg-Sc alloy in ultrafine-grained (UFG) condition. In the case of HEA, the lattice possess significant lattice strain due to the atomic size variation and cohesive energy differences. Moreover, both the lattice friction stress and the Peierls barrier height are significantly larger than the conventional FCC metals and alloys. The experimental evidences, so far, provide a distinctive identity to the nature and motion of dislocations in FCC HEA as compared to the conventional FCC metals and alloys. Hence, the thermally activated dislocation mechanisms and kinetics in HEA has been studied in detail. To achieve the aim of examining the dislocation kinetics, transient tests, both strain rate jump tests and stress relaxation tests, were conducted. Anomalous behavior in dislocation kinetics was observed. Surprisingly, a large rate sensitivity of the flow stress and low activation volume of dislocations were observed, which are unparalleled as compared to conventional CG FCC metals and alloys. The observed trend has been explained in terms of the lattice distortion and dislocation energy framework. As opposed to the constant dislocation line energy and Peierls potential energy (amplitude, ΔE) in conventional metals and alloys, both line energy and Peierls potential undergo continuous variation in the case of HEA. These energy fluctuations have greatly affected the dislocation mobility and can be distinctly noted from the activation volume of dislocations. The proposed hypothesis was tested by varying the grain size and also the test temperature. Activation volume of dislocations was a strong function of temperature and increased with temperature. And the reduction in grain ...
An Initial Study of Binary and Ternary Ti-based Alloys Manufactured Using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENSTM)
In this study an initial assessment of the composition – microstructure – property relationships in binary and ternary Ti – based systems are made possible using LENSTM technology. Laser Engineering Net Shaping (LENSTM), a rapid prototyping, directed laser deposition methodology of additive manufacturing (AM) was used to create bulk homogenous specimens that are compositionally graded. Compositionally graded specimens were made possible by incorporating elemental blends of powder during the LENSTM process. While there have been numerous studies assessing the influence of common elements (e.g., V, Mo, Al, and Cr) on the resulting microstructure in titanium alloys, other elements have been neglected. A systematic study of the Ti – Fe – Al ternary system based upon varying compositions of the eutectoid former, Fe with Al to stabilize the a and b phases respectively has also been neglected. This research effort focuses on exploiting the LENSTM process by rapidly assessing the composition – microstructure – property relationships in a combinatorial approach for the Ti – W, Ti – Fe, and Ti – Fe – Al systems. Compositionally graded specimens of Ti – xW (0<x<40wt.%(14.79at.%)), Ti – xFe (0<x<35wt.%(36.37at.%)), and Ti – xFe – yAl (0<x<40wt.%(36.37at.%)), y=5,10, 15wt.%) have been heat treated to also assess the influence of thermal history on microstructural features such as phase composition and volume fraction. Lastly, a Ti – xMo (0<x<40wt.%(24.96at.%)) compositionally graded specimen was deposited to re-assess the Mo-equivalency nature of W, as well as assess the role of phase separation in microstructural evolution at temperatures above and below the invariant point (~695°C) of the Ti – W binary system.
Characterization of Ti-6Al-4V Produced Via Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing
In recent years, additive manufacturing (AM) has become an increasingly promising method used for the production of structural metallic components. There are a number of reasons why AM methods are attractive, including the ability to produce complex geometries into a near-net shape and the rapid transition from design to production. Ti-6Al-4V is a titanium alloy frequently used in the aerospace industry which is receiving considerable attention as a good candidate for processing via electron beam additive manufacturing (EBAM). The Sciaky EBAM method combines a high-powered electron beam, weld-wire feedstock, and a large build chamber, enabling the production of large structural components. In order to gain wide acceptance of EBAM of Ti-6Al-4V as a viable manufacturing method, it is important to understand broadly the microstructural features that are present in large-scale depositions, including specifically: the morphology, distribution and texture of the phases present. To achieve such an understanding, stereological methods were used to populate a database quantifying key microstructural features in Ti-6Al-4V including volume fraction of phases, a lath width, colony scale factor, and volume fraction of basket weave type microstructure. Microstructural features unique to AM, such as elongated grains and banded structures, were also characterized. Hardness and tensile testing were conducted and the results were related to the microstructural morphology and sample orientation. Lastly, fractured surfaces and defects were investigated. The results of these activities provide insight into the process-structure-properties relationships found in EBAM processed Ti-6Al-4V.
The Role of Crystallographic Texture in Achieving Low Friction Zinc Oxide Nanolaminate Films
Metal oxide nanolaminate films are potential high temperature solid lubricants due to their ability to exhibit significant plasticity when grain size is reduced to the nanometer scale, and defective growth structure is achieved by condensation of oxygen vacancies to form intrinsic stacking faults. This is in contrast to conventional microcrystalline and single crystal oxides that exhibit brittle fracture during loading in a sliding contact. This study emphasizes the additional effect of growth orientation, in particular crystallographic texture, on determining the sliding friction behavior in nanocolumnar grain zinc oxide films grown by atomic layer deposition. It was determined that zinc oxide low (0002) versus higher (101 ̅3) surface energy crystallographic planes influenced the sliding friction coefficient. Texturing of the (0002) grains resulted in a decreased adhesive component of friction thereby lowering the sliding friction coefficient to ~0.25, while the friction coefficient doubled to ~0.5 with increasing contribution of surface (101 ̅3) grains. In addition, the variation of the x-ray grazing incident angle from 0.5° to 5° was studied to better understand the surface grain orientation as a function of ZnO layer thickness in one versus four bilayer nanolaminates where the under layer (seed layer) was load-bearing Zn(Ti,Zr)O3.
Device Engineering for Enhanced Efficiency from Platinum(II) Phosphorescent OLEDs
Phosphorescent organic light emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) based on efficient electrophosphorescent dopant, platinum(II)-pyridyltriazolate complex, bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato]platinum(II) (Pt(ptp)2) have been studied and improved with respect to power efficiency, external efficiency, chromacity and efficiency roll-off. By studying the electrical and optical behavior of the doped devices and functionality of the various constituent layers, devices with a maximum EQE of 20.8±0.2 % and power efficiency of 45.1±0.9 lm/W (77lm/W with luminaries) have been engineered. This improvement compares to devices whose emission initially could only be detected by a photomultiplier tube in a darkened environment. These devices consisted of a 65 % bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato]platinum(II) (Pt(ptp)2) doped into 4,4'-bis(carbazol-9-yl)triphenylamine (CBP) an EML layer, a hole transporting layer/electron blocker of 1,1-bis[(di-4-tolylamino)phenyl]cyclohexane (TAPC), an electron transport layer of 1,3,5-tris(phenyl-2-benzimidazolyl)-benzene (TPBI), and a LiF/Al cathode. These devices show the acceptable range for warm white light quadrants and qualify to be called "warm white" even w/o adding another emissive layer. Dual EML devices composed of neat Pt(ptp)2 films emitting orange and CBP: Pt(ptp)2 film emitting blue-green produced a color rendering index (CRI) of 59 and color coordinates (CIE) of (0.47,0.49) at 1000Cd/m² with power efficiency of 12.6±0.2 lm/W and EQE of 10.8±0.2 %. Devices with two blue fluorescent emission layers as singlet filters and one broad yellow emission layer from CBP: Pt(ptp)2 displayed a CRI of 78 and CIE of (0.28,0.31) at 100Cd/m² with maximum power efficiency of 6.7±0.3 lm/W and EQE of 5.7±0.2 %.
Structural, Thermal and Acoustic Performance of Polyurethane Foams for Green Buildings
Decreasing the carbon footprint through use of renewable materials has environmental and societal impact. Foams are a valuable constituent in buildings by themselves or as a core in sandwich composites. Kenaf is a Southeast USA plant that provides renewable filler. The core of the kenaf is porous with a cell size in a 5-10 micrometer range. The use of kenaf core in foams represents a novel multiscalar cellular structural composite. Rigid polyurethane foams were made using free foaming expansion with kenaf core as filler with loadings of 5, 10 and 15 %. Free foaming was found to negatively affect the mechanical properties. An innovative process was developed to introduce a constraint to expansion during foaming. Two expansion ratios were examined: 40 and 60 % (decreasing expansion ratio). MicroCT and SEM analysis showed a varying structure of open and closed cell pores. The mechanical, thermal insulation, acoustic properties were measured. Pure PU foam showed improved cell size uniformity. Introducing kenaf core resulted in decreasing the PU performance in the free expansion case. This was reversed by introducing constraints. To understand the combined impact of having a mixed close cell and open cell architecture, finite element modeling was done using ANSYS. Models were created with varying percentages of open, closed, and bulk cells to encompass entire range of foam porosities. Net zero energy building information modelling was conducted using EnergyPlus was conducted using natural fiber composite skins. Environmental impacts for instance global warming potential, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel consumption, ozone depletion, and smog potential of the materials used in construction was studied using life cycle assessment. The results showed improvement on energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Effect of Alloy Composition, Free Volume and Glass Formability on the Corrosion Behavior of Bulk Metallic Glasses
Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) have received significant research interest due to their completely amorphous structure which results in unique structural and functional properties. Absence of grain boundaries and secondary phases in BMGs results in high corrosion resistance in many different environments. Understanding and tailoring the corrosion behavior can be significant for various structural applications in bulk form as well as coatings. In this study, the corrosion behavior of several Zr-based and Fe-Co based BMGs was evaluated to understand the effect of chemistry as well as quenched in free volume on corrosion behavior and mechanisms. Presence of Nb in Zr-based alloys was found to significantly improve corrosion resistance due to the formation of a stable passive oxide. Relaxed glasses showed lower rates compared to the as-cast alloys. This was attributed to lowering of chemical potential from the reduced fraction of free volume. Potentiodynamic polarization and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) techniques helped in quantifying the corrosion rate and polarization resistance. The effect of alloy composition was quantified by extensive surface analysis using Raman spectroscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and auger spectroscopy. Pitting intensity was higher in the as-cast glasses than the relaxed glasses. The electrochemical behavior of a Zr-Ti-Cu-Ni-Be bulk metallic glass subjected to high strain processing was studied. High strain processing caused shear band formation and an increase in the free volume. Potentiodynamic polarization and EIS showed a strong correlation between the enthalpy of structural relaxation and corrosion rate and polarization resistance. Pitting was observed to preferentially occur on shear bands in the processed samples, while it was stochastic in unprocessed glass. The corrosion analysis of Co-Fe glasses showed an increase in corrosion current density when Fe content was increased from 0 to 7 at%. The corrosion resistance improved when Fe content was further increased to 15 at%. Similar trend was ...
Determining the Emissivity of Roofing Samples: Asphalt, Ceramic and Coated Cedar
The goal is to perform heat measurements examine of selected roofing material samples. Those roofing materials are asphalt shingles, ceramics, and cedar. It’s important to understand the concept of heat transfer, which consists of conduction, convection, and radiation. Research work was reviewed on different infrared devices to see which one would be suitable for conducting my experiment. In this experiment, the main focus was on a specific property of radiation. That property is the emissivity, which is the amount of heat a material is able to radiate compared to a blackbody. An infrared measuring device, such as the infrared camera was used to determine the emissivity of each sample by using a measurement formula consisting of certain equations. These equations account for the emissivity, transmittance of heat through the atmosphere and temperatures of the samples, atmosphere and background. The experiment verifies how reasonable the data is compared to values in the emissivity table. A blackbody method such as electrical black tape was applied to help generate the correct data. With this data obtained, the emissivity was examined to understand what factors and parameters affect this property of the materials. This experiment was conducted using a suitable heat source to heat up the material samples to high temperature. The measurements were taken during the experiment and displayed by the IR camera. The IR images show the behavior of surface temperatures being distributed throughout the different materials. The main challenge was to determine the most accurate emissivity values for all material samples. The results obtained by the IR camera were displayed in figures and tables at different distances, which was between the heap lamp and materials. The materials exhibited different behaviors in temperature and emissivity at certain distances. The emissivity of each material varied with different temperatures. The results led to suggestions ...
Piezoresistive Polyvinylidene Fluoride/Carbon Filled Nanocomposites
This thesis examines the value of using dispersed conductive fillers as a stress/strain sensing material. The effect of the intrinsic conductivity of the filler on the ability to be effective and the influence of filler concentration on the conductivity are also examined. To meet these objectives, nanocomposites of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) with carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were prepared by melt-blending using a twin screw extruder. Since PVDF has a potential to be piezoresistive based on the type of crystalline phase, the effect of CNFs on PVDF crystallinity, crystalline phase, quasi static and dynamic mechanical property was studied concurrently with piezoresponse. Three time dependencies were examined for PVDF/CNTs nanocomposites: quasi-static, transient and cyclic fatigue. The transient response of the strain with time showed viscoelastic behavior and was modeled by the 4-element Burger model. Under quasi-static loading the resistance showed negative pressure coefficient below yield but changed to a positive pressure coefficient after yield. Under cyclic load, the stress-time and resistance-time were synchronous but the resistance peak value decreased with increasing cycles, which was attributed to charge storage in the nanocomposite. The outcomes of this thesis indicate that a new piezoresponsive system based on filled polymers is a viable technology for structural health monitoring.
The Influence of Ohmic Metals and Oxide Deposition on the Structure and Electrical Properties of Multilayer Epitaxial Graphene on Silicon Carbide Substrates
Graphene has attracted significant research attention for next generation of semiconductor devices due to its high electron mobility and compatibility with planar semiconductor processing. In this dissertation, the influences of Ohmic metals and high dielectric (high-k) constant aluminum oxide (Al2O3) deposition on the structural and electrical properties of multi-layer epitaxial graphene (MLG) grown by graphitization of silicon carbide (SiC) substrates have been investigated. Uniform MLG was successfully grown by sublimation of silicon from epitaxy-ready, Si and C terminated, 6H-SiC wafers in high-vacuum and argon atmosphere. The graphene formation was accompanied by a significant enhancement of Ohmic behavior, and, was found to be sensitive to the temperature ramp-up rate and annealing time. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) showed that the interface between the metal and SiC remained sharp and free of macroscopic defects even after 30 min, 1430 °C anneals. The impact of high dielectric constant Al2O3 and its deposition by radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering on the structural and electrical properties of MLG is discussed. HRTEM analysis confirms that the Al2O3/MLG interface is relatively sharp and that thickness approximation of the MLG using angle resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ARXPS) as well as variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE) is accurate. The totality of results indicate that ARXPS can be used as a nondestructive tool to measure the thickness of MLG, and that RF sputtered Al2O3 can be used as a (high-k) constant gate oxide in multilayer grapheme based transistor applications.
Bioresorbable Polymer Blend Scaffold for Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineering merges the disciplines of study like cell biology, materials science, engineering and surgery to enable growth of new living tissues on scaffolding constructed from implanted polymeric materials. One of the most important aspects of tissue engineering related to material science is design of the polymer scaffolds. The polymer scaffolds needs to have some specific mechanical strength over certain period of time. In this work bioresorbable aliphatic polymers (PCL and PLLA) were blended using extrusion and solution methods. These blends were then extruded and electrospun into fibers. The fibers were then subjected to FDA standard in vitro immersion degradation tests where its mechanical strength, water absorption, weight loss were observed during the eight weeks. The results indicate that the mechanical strength and rate of degradation can be tailored by changing the ratio of PCL and PLLA in the blend. Processing influences these parameters, with the loss of mechanical strength and rate of degradation being higher in electrospun fibers compared to those extruded. A second effort in this thesis addressed the potential separation of the scaffold from the tissue (loss of apposition) due to the differences in their low strain responses. This hypothesis that using knit with low tension will have better compliance was tested and confirmed.
Synthesis and Characterization of Crystalline Assemblies of Functionalized Hydrogel Nanoparticles
Two series monodispersed nanoparticles of hydroxylpropyl cellulose (HPC) and functionalized poly-N-isopropylamide (PNIPAM) particles have been synthesized and used as building blocks for creating three-dimensional networks, with two levels of structural hierarchy. The first level is HPC nanoparticles were made from methacrylated or degradable cross-linker attached HPC. These nanoparticles could be stabilized at room temperature by residual methacrylate or degradable groups are present both within and on the exterior of HPC nanoparticles. Controlled release studies have been performed on the particle and networks .The nearly monodispersed nanoparticles have been synthesized on the basis of a natural polymer of hydropropylcellulose (HPC) with a high molecular weight using the precipitation polymerization method and self-assembly of these particles in water results in bright colors. The HPC nanoparticles can be potential using as crosslinkers to increase the hydrogels mechanical properties, such as high transparency and rapid swelling/de-swelling kinetics. The central idea is to prepare colloidal particles containing C=C bonds and to use them as monomers - vinylparticles, to form stable particle assemblies with various architectures. This is accomplished by mixing an aqueous suspension of hydrogel nanoparticles (PNIPAM-co-allylamine) with the organic solvent (dichloromethane) to grow columnar crystals. The hydrogels with such a unique crystal structure behavior not only like the hydrogel opals, but also have a unique property: anisotropy.
Growth, Structure and Tribological Properties of Atomic Layer Deposited Lubricious Oxide Nanolaminates
Friction and wear mitigation is typically accomplished by introducing a shear accommodating layer (e.g., a thin film of liquid) between surfaces in sliding and/or rolling contacts. When the operating conditions are beyond the liquid realm, attention turns to solid coatings. Solid lubricants have been widely used in governmental and industrial applications for mitigation of wear and friction (tribological properties). Conventional examples of solid lubricants are MoS2, WS2, h-BN, and graphite; however, these and some others mostly perform best only for a limited range of operating conditions, e.g. ambient air versus dry nitrogen and room temperature versus high temperatures. Conversely, lubricious oxides have been studied lately as good potential candidates for solid lubricants because they are thermodynamically stable and environmentally robust. Oxide surfaces are generally inert and typically do not form strong adhesive bonds like metals/alloys in tribological contacts. Typical of these oxides is ZnO. The interest in ZnO is due to its potential for utility in a variety of applications. To this end, nanolaminates of ZnO, Al2O3, ZrO2 thin films have been deposited at varying sequences and thicknesses on silicon substrates and high temperature (M50) bearing steels by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The top lubricious, nanocrystalline ZnO layer was structurally-engineered to achieve low surface energy {0002}-orientated grain that provided low sliding friction coefficients (0.2 to 0.3), wear factors (range of 10-7 to 10-8 mm3/Nm) and good rolling contact fatigue resistance. The Al2O3 was intentionally made amorphous to achieve the {0002} preferred orientation while {101}-orientated tetragonal ZrO2 acted as a high toughness/load bearing layer. It was determined that the ZnO defective structure (oxygen sub-stoichiometric with growth stacking faults) aided in shear accommodation by re-orientating the nanocrystalline grains where they realigned to create new friction-reducing surfaces. Specifically, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) inside the wear surfaces revealed in an increase in ...
Effects of Plasma, Temperature and Chemical Reactions on Porous Low Dielectric Films for Semiconductor Devices
Low-dielectric (k) films are one of the performance drivers for continued scaling of integrated circuit devices. These films are needed in microelectronic device interconnects to lower power consumption and minimize cross talk between metal lines that "interconnect" transistors. Low-k materials currently in production for the 45 and 65 nm node are most often organosilicate glasses (OSG) with dielectric constants near 2.8 and nominal porosities of 8-10%. The next generation of low-k materials will require k values 2.6 and below for the 45 nm device generation and beyond. The continuous decrease in device dimensions in ultra large scale integrated (ULSI) circuits have brought about the replacement of the silicon dioxide interconnect dielectric (ILD), which has a dielectric constant (k) of approximately 4.1, with low dielectric constant materials. Lowering the dielectric constant reduces the propagation delays, RC constant (R = the resistance of the metal lines; C = the line capacitance), and metal cross-talk between wires. In order to reduce the RC constants, a number of low-k materials have been studied for use as intermetal dielectrics. The k values of these dielectric materials can be lowered by replacing oxide films with carbon-based polymer films, incorporating hydrocarbon functional groups into oxide films (SiOCH films), or introducing porogens in the film during processing to create pores. However, additional integration issues such as damage to these materials caused by plasma etch, plasma ash, and wet etch processes are yet to be overcome. This dissertation reports the effects of plasma, temperature and chemical reactions on low-k SiOCH films. Plasma ash processes have been known to cause hydrophobic films to lose their hydrophobic methyl groups, rendering them to be hydrophilic. This allows the films to readily absorb moisture. Supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) can be used to transport silylating agents, hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) and diethoxy-dimethlysilane (DEDMS), to functionalize the ...
Synthesis and characterization of crystalline assembly of poly Nisopropylacry-lamide)-co-acrylic acid nanoparticles.
In this study, crystalline poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (PNIPAm-co-AAc) nanoparticle network in organic solvents was obtained by self assembling precursor particles in acetone/epichlorohydrin mixture at room temperature followed by inter-sphere crosslinking at ~98 °C. The crystals thus formed can endure solvent exchanges or large distortions under a temporary compressing force with the reoccurrence of crystalline structures. In acetone, the crystals were stable, independent of temperature, while in water crystals could change their colors upon heating or changing pH values. By passing a focused white light beam through the crystals, different colors were displayed at different observation angles, indicating typical Bragg diffraction. Shear moduli of the gel nanoparticle crystals were measured in the linear stress-yield ranges for the same gel crystals in both acetone and water. Syntheses of particles of different sizes and the relationship between particle size and the color of the gel nanoparticle networks at a constant solid content were also presented. Temperature- and pH- sensitive crystalline PNIPAm-co-AAc hydrogel was prepared using osmosis crosslinking method. Not only the typical Bragg diffraction phenomenon was observed for the hydrogel but also apparent temperature- and pH- sensitive properties were performed. The phase behavior of PNIPAm nanoparticles dispersed in water was also investigated using a thermodynamic perturbation theory combined with lightscattering and spectrometer measurements. It was shown how the volume transition of PNIPAM particles affected the interaction potential and determined a novel phase diagram that had not been observed in conventional colloids. Because both particle size and attractive potential depended on temperature, PNIPAM aqueous dispersion exhibited phase transitions at a fixed particle number density by either increasing or decreasing temperature. The phase transition of PNIPAm-co-AAc colloids was also studied. The results from the comparison between pure PNIPAm and charged PNIPAm colloids showed that the introducing of carboxyl (-COOH) group not only contributed to the synthesis ...
Hydrophobic, fluorinated silica xerogel for low-k applications.
A new hydrophobic hybrid silica film was synthesized by introducing one silicon precursor (as modifiers) into another precursor (network former). Hybrid films have improved properties. Hydrolysis and condensation of dimethyldiethoxysilane (DMDES) (solvent (EtOH) to DMDES molar ratio R = 4, water to DMDES molar ratio r = 4, 0.01 N HCl catalyst) was analyzed using high-resolution liquid 29Si NMR. It was found that after several hours, DMDES hydrolyzed and condensed into linear and cyclic species. Films from triethoxyfluorosilane (TEFS) have been shown to be promising interlayer dielectric materials for future integrated circuit applications due to their low dielectric constant and high mechanical properties (i.e., Young's modulus (E) and hardness (H)). Co-condensing with TEFS, linear structures from DMDES hydrolysis and condensation reactions rendered hybrid films hydrophobic, and cyclic structures induced the formation of pores. Hydrophobicity characterized by contact angle, thermal stability by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle, and dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (DSIMS), dielectric constant determined by impedance measurement, and mechanical properties (E and H) determined by nanoindentation of TEFS and TEFS + DMDES films were compared to study the effect of DMDES on the TEFS structure. Hybrid films were more hydrophobic and thermally stable. DMDES incorporation affected the dielectric constant, but showed little enhancement of mechanical properties.
Electrical and Structure Properties of High-κ Barium Tantalite and Aluminum Oxide Interface with Zinc Oxide for Applications in Transparent Thin Film Transistors
ZnO has generated interest for flexible electronics/optoelectronic applications including transparent thin film transistors (TFTs). For this application, low temperature processes that simultaneously yield good electrical conductivity and optical transparency and that are compatible with flexible substrates such as plastic, are of paramount significance. Further, gate oxides are a critical component of TFTs, and must exhibit low leakage currents and self-healing breakdown in order to ensure optimal TFTs switching performance and reliability. Thus, the objective of this work was twofold: (1) develop an understanding of the processing-structure-property relationships of ZnO and high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 (2) understand the electronic defect structure of BaTa2O6 /ZnO and Al2O3/ZnO interfaces and develop insight to how such interfaces may impact the switching characteristics (speed and switching power) of TFTs featuring these materials. Of the ZnO films grown by atomic layer deposition (ALD), pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and magnetron sputtering at 100-200 °C, the latter method exhibited the best combination of n-type electrical conductivity and optical transparency. These determinations were made using a combination of photoluminescence, photoluminescence excitation, absorption edge and Hall measurements. Metal-insulator-semiconductor devices were then fabricated with sputtered ZnO and high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 and the interfaces of high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 with ZnO were analyzed using frequency dependent C-V and G-V measurements. The insulator films were deposited at room temperature by magnetron sputtering using optimized processing conditions. Although the Al2O3 films exhibited a lower breakdown strength and catastrophic breakdown behavior compared to BaTa2O6/ZnO interface, the Al2O3/ZnO interface was characterized by more than an order of magnitude smaller density of interface traps and interface trapped charge. The BaTa2O6 films in addition were characterized by a significantly higher concentration of fixed oxide charge. The transition from accumulation to inversion in the Al2O3 MIS structure was considerably sharper, and occurred at less than one tenth of ...
Mechanisms of Ordered Gamma Prime Precipitation in Nickel Base Superalloys
Commercial superalloys like Rene88DT are used in high temperature applications like turbine disk in aircraft jet engines due to their excellent high temperature properties, including strength, ductility, improved fracture toughness, fatigue resistance, enhanced creep and oxidation resistance. Typically this alloy's microstructure has L12-ordered precipitates dispersed in disordered face-centered cubic &#947; matrix. A typical industrially relevant heat-treatment often leads to the formation of multiple size ranges of &#947;¢ precipitates presumably arising from multiple nucleation bursts during the continuous cooling process. The morphology and distribution of these &#947;&#8242; precipitates inside &#947; matrix influences the mechanical properties of these materials. Therefore, the study of thermodynamic and kinetic factors influencing the evolution of these precipitates and subsequent effects is both relevant for commercial applications as well as for a fundamental understanding of the underlying phase transformations. The present research is primarily focused on understanding the mechanism of formation of different generations of &#947;&#8242; precipitates during continuous cooling by coupling scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy filtered TEM and atom probe tomography (APT). In addition, the phase transformations leading to nucleation of &#947;&#8242; phase has been a topic of controversy for decades. The present work, for the first time, gives a novel insight into the mechanism of order-disorder transformations and associated phase separation processes at atomistic length scales, by coupling high angle annular dark field (HAADF) - STEM imaging and APT. The results indicate that multiple competing mechanisms can operate during a single continuous cooling process leading to different generations of &#947;&#8242; including a non-classical mechanism, operative at large undercoolings.