TITANIUM ALLOY HAVING ENHANCED NOTCH TOUGHNESS AND METHOD

PRODUCING SAME
PATENT NO – US 6,190,473 B1

Date of Patent: Feb. 20, 2001

Inventor. Patrick Lyle Martin, Auburn, WA (US)
Assignee: The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA (US)
Titanium is a very important metal whose alloys are used in aerospace and in aeronautical
applications because of the superior strength, low density, and corrosion resistance. Titanium and
its alloy exhibits a two phase behavior which is called alpha-phase and beta-phase. Titanium
alloy containing aluminum as a major alloying element raises the beta transus temperature and
stabilize the alpha form such that the alloy is predominately in the alpha form at room
temperature and containing vanadium depress the beta transus temperature and stabilize the beta
form such that the alloy is predominately in beta form at room temperature.
Two main alloys Ti-6-4(alpha beta alloy) and Ti-5-2.5(near alpha alloy) are being used most, but
as the processing cost of the Ti-6-4 is much cheaper, it is readily available. As we know that
these alloys are being used at cryogenic temperatures (4 K and 20 K), its strength should be high
at these low temperatures. At these temperatures the strength is measured in the form of NTR
(notch tensile ratio). NTR is defined as the ultimate tensile strength of a notched test specimen
divided by the ultimate tensile strength of a smooth test specimen. Generally Ti-5-2.5 alloy have
NTR=1.1 at 20K and Ti-6-4 alloy have NTR<1 at 77K. So Ti-5-2.5 alloy is being preferred for
application. But as non-readily availability of this alloy we will process the Ti-6-4 alloy to get
alloy having high NTR.
The process used to improve the properties of Ti-6-4 (alpha beta) alloy is as follows :1. First we heat the alloy to near or above its beta transus temperature (1000 degree
centigrade) at 990 degree centigrade to 1020 degree centigrade.
2. We heat it upto sufficient time of 30 minutes which leads to dissolve all the alpha-grains
and alpha-beta Ti alloy converts to beta Ti alloy.
3. Now we rapidly cool the alloy (water quench) to room to produce a fine platelet
microstructure of martensite.
4. Now we isothermally forge the alloy at the strain rate <=0.10 in/in/second to get a total
strain of about 50% to 80% at about 700 degree centigrade temperature at attain a fine
equi-axed microstructure. Here the largest microstructure unit is 2-5 micrometer of size.
5. Now we age the alloy at 25-75 degree centigrade below the beta transus temperature for
30 to 60 minutes to let the refined equi-axed microstructure grow to 5-10 micrometer.
Here we have changed nearly all the alpha phase into beta phase because if there remains alpha
phase more than 2%, it would lead to change in the properties which we are about to gain. These
alpha grains are of size 10-15 micrometer, which when rapidly cooled embedded in a matrix of
martensticially transformed beta and thus reduces the strength.
Here martenstic transformation is required to form a equiaxed grain and to give hardness to the
alloy.

6 — 246. But here the largest grain size have increased from 2-5 micrometer to 5-10 micrometer because of ageing. But there is no any significant change in the NTR of the alloy as the size has increased to 10 micrometer.10 As we have seen from the given table. the strength increases. We have also found that if there is a slight change in the given conditions like mainly temperature and time as can be the situation while the production of this .1 14 — 3 2 TABLE 2 20K tensile properties of Ti-6-4 ELI processed.4 12 — 5 5 TABLE 3 4K tensile properties of Ti-6-4 ELI processed. Yield stress Ultimate Elongation # of test in (ksi) stress (%) average (ksi) 233. processed alloy have higher NTR than the as-received one. Configuratio n As-received Ti-6-4 ELI: Smooth Notched Configuratio n As-received Ti-6-4 ELI: Smooth Notched Configuratio n As-received Ti-6-4 ELI: Smooth Notched TABLE 1 20K tensile properties of as-received Ti-6-4 ELI. So it would be beneficial to use the processed alloy to ensure its longer life.9 11 — 2 2 NTR 0. Yield stress Ultimate Elongation # of test in (ksi) stress (%) average (ksi) 240. which is being done to give homogeneity to the structure.7 266.7 241. Then we cool down the sample to room temperature by air cooling.9 271.96 NTR 1.8 — 245.08 NTR 1. According to the Hall-Petch equation we know that as we decrease the grain size.Now we see here that we mainly decreased the grain size and make it equi-axed grains.2 — 250. Yield stress Ultimate Elongation # of test in (ksi) stress (%) average (ksi) 246.

there would not be a drastic change in the properties of the alloy. .alloy. So we can modify the conditions given to get the optimum results.