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2.3.9 True Stress Exponent

During analysis of creep data, the value of true stress exponent (n)

appearing in Eqn. (2.18) is usually taken as 3, 5 and 8, which corresponds to three

well-documented creep cases for metals and alloys: (i) n = 3 for creep controlled by

viscous glide processes of dislocation, (ii) n = 5 for creep controlled by high

temperature dislocation climb (lattice diffusion), and (iii) n = 8 for lattice diffusion-

controlled creep with a constant structure (Tjong and Ma, 2000).

Pandey and coworkers investigated high-temperature creep behavior of

SiCp/Al (Pandey et al, 1990, 1992) and TiB2p/Al (Pandey et al, 1994) composites.

The creep data obtained has been explained by using the substructure invariant

model proposed by Sherby et al (1977). Pandey et al (1992, 1994) argued that

during creep in these composites the subgrain boundaries are pinned by reinforced

particles like Al2O3 and TiB2, thereby yielding a stress exponent of 8 and an

activation energy of the order of lattice self diffusion.

The substructure invariant model assumes that the subgrain structure

remains stable during extended creep exposure and such a structure is insensitive to

stress. This is achieved by the introduction of second phase particles such as oxide

dispersoids in metals. These particles are observed to be located at the subgrain

boundaries and the subgrain size becomes equal to interparticle spacing. In such a

situation, particles stabilize the subgrain size. The substructure invariant model

predicts that the creep rate is proportional to the cube of subgrain size and a stress

exponent of 8 for particle reinforced materials that exhibit invariant microstructure