Application of the theory of martensite crystallography to displacive phase transformations in substitutional nonferrous alloys

B. C. Muddle, J. F. Nie, G. R. Hugo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


It has been demonstrated that the theory of martensite crystallography is capable of accounting successfully for the form and crystallography of a range of plate- or lath-shaped transformation products, even when the formation of the product phase involves significant substitutional diffusion. These transformations include the precipitation of metastable hexagonal γ' (Ag2Al) plates in disordered face-centered cubic (fcc) solid-solution Al-Ag alloys, the formation of ordered AuCu II plates from disordered fcc solid solution in equiatomic Au-Cu alloys, and the formation of metastable 9R α 1, plates in ordered (B2) Cu-Zn and Ag-Cd alloys. The application of the theory to these transformations is reviewed critically and the features common to them identified. It is confirmed that, in all three transformations, the product phase produces relief at a free surface consistent with an invariant plane-strain shape change and that the transformations are thus properly described as displacive. The agreement between experimental observations and theoretical predictions of the transformation crystallography is in all cases excellent. It is proposed that successful application of the theory implies a growth mechanism in which the coherent or semicoherent, planar interface between parent and product phases maintains its structural identity during migration and that growth proceeds atom by atom in a manner consistent with the maintenance of a correspondence of lattice sites. In the case of the coherent, planar interfaces associated with γ' precipitate plates in Al-Ag alloys, there is direct experimental evidence that this is accomplished by the motion of transformation dislocations across the coherent broad faces of the precipitate plates; the transformation dislocations define steps that are two atom layers in height normal to the habit plane and have a Burgers vector at least approximately equivalent to an (α/6)(112) Shockley partial dislocation in the parent fcc structure. However, for AuCu II plates, where the product phase is twinned on a fine scale, and for α1 plates, for which the lattice invariant strain leads to a substructure of finely spaced stacking faults, the structures of the semicoherent interphase boundaries and thus the details of the transformation mechanism remain less clearly defined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1841-1856
Number of pages16
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1994

Cite this