Instabilities in first order phase transitions
Majority of the metallurgical phase transformations are first-order transitions which occur by the nucleation and growth process near equilibrium conditions. In recent years, homogeneous transformation has been reported in some of these cases at conditions significantly away from those of equilibrium. In this paper some of these transformations will be discussed. In the first part of the presentation the thermodynamic and the mechanistic distinctions between first and higher order phase transformations will be discussed and a comparison made between homogeneous and heterogeneous modes of phase transformations and those of deformation. Based on Landau’s free energyvs generalised order parameter plots, an instability temperature is defined for first order phase transformations below which the transformation can occur by a continuous amplification of a concentration or a strain fluctuation. In the second part experimental evidence in support of the continuous mode of transformations in two ordering reactions are presented. These are: (i) a transition from the short range to the long range chemical order in Ni4Mo (D1a structure) and (ii) a hybrid displacive-replacive ordering in Zr2Al (B82 structure). In order to make the continuous mode operative in these first order transformations (which is possible at a high “supercooling”), radiation in the former and rapid quenching in the latter were employed. In the last part, the martensitic transformation and the shape memory effect is described in terms of Landau’s plots and the mechanical and thermodynamical consequences of the model are discussed.
Volume 43, 2020
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