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Electron microscopy of the composite-forming alloys Ti60Cu14Ni12Sn4Nb10 and Ti60Cu14Ni12Sn4Ta10, shows that for both alloys, the microstructure consists of an array of micron-scale dendrites surrounded by a nanoscale binary eutectic. In the Ta-containing alloy, one of the eutectic phases has been identified as having a bcc crystal structure similar to that of the dendrites. In the Nb-containing alloy, one of the eutectic phases has been found to have a similar composition to that of the dendrites. Further detailed structural and compositional characterization is needed in order to understand the solidification behaviour of such materials. This knowledge may then be used to improve the casting conditions and subsequent mechanical properties of the materials.
The microstructure of a low-carbon steel after high current density electropulsing treatment was characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. It was found that nanostructured γ-Fe could be formed in the coarse-grained steel after the electropulsing treatment. The mechanism of the formation of a nanostructure was discussed. It was thought that change of the thermodynamic barrier during phase transformation under electropulsing was a factor that cannot be neglected. It was reasonable to anticipate that a new method might be developed to produce nanostructured materials directly from the conventional coarse-grained crystalline materials by applying high current density electropulsing.
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