High resolution electron microscopy (HREM) has emerged as a very powerful tool for probing the structure of metals and alloys. It has not only helped in unravelling the structure of materials which have been at the forefront of novel materials development such as quasicrystalline phases and high temperature superconducting compounds, but also is fast becoming a technique for solving some outstanding issues in the case of the commercial alloys thereby helping alloy development. In addition to the determination of the structures of phases, this tool is used for obtaining a first hand information of the arrangement of atoms around the various types of crystallographic defects and interphase interfaces. This mode of microscopy allows direct observation of orientation relationships between two phases across interfaces. HREM can be used for the direct examination of the prenucleation process. Initial stages of nucleation can also be studied readily in amorphous alloys, precipitation hardening alloys like maraging steels and in those systems where the formation of the omega phase occurs.
This presentation describes some results of HREM studies on various alloys, commercial as well as alloys of scientific interest, where some of the aforementioned aspects have been examined. The specific examples cited pertain to metallic glasses, NiTi shape memory alloys, Ni-Mo, Zr-Nb and Ti-Al alloys.
Volume 42 | Issue 6
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