The mechanical loss and shear modulus behaviors of Ni3Al and Ni3(Al, Ta) single crystals have been investigated in the temperature range 100 K – 1300 K. The mechanical loss spectra exhibit two temperature regimes, which are separated by a relaxation peak at nearly 950 K for a frequency of 1 Hz. This relaxation peak has been interpreted by the stress re-orientation of Al-Al elastic dipoles in the (111) octahedral plane [1, 2]. In the low temperature regime, corresponding to the anomaly domain of the flow stress, the mechanical loss of pre-deformed specimens exhibit a strong positive dependence on both the oscillation amplitude and the amount of pre-strain.
Pre-deformations, which were performed either at room temperature or at 100 K, yield a broad maximum in the mechanical loss that extends from nearly 100 K up to 550 K. This maximum is observable for only strain amplitudes larger than 10−4 and entirely vanishes after heating the specimens above 550 K. The increase in mechanical loss has been attributed to the bowing of the superkinks under the action of the applied stress. The gradual and irreversible decrease in damping above 300 K is interpreted in terms of pinning of the screw dislocation segments by a thermally activated process leading to the formation of Kear-Wilsdorf locks.