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In the present study, we have attempted to produce the porous Ti–Al intermetallic based alloys by pressure-sintering of the elemental powders of Ti and Al through a combustion reaction, with a NaCl space holder to achieve the development of a highly porous structure. The powders of Ti (particle size: <45 μm) and Al (particle size: <45 μm) were mixed to various total compositions of Ti–0-40 Al (at.%), and NaCl (particle size: 300-400 μm) was mixed with the Ti/Al powder to give a highly porous structure. The mixed powder was sintered at 700 oC under a constant pressure of 30 MPa to form cylindrical specimens with a diameter of 20 mm. The soaking of the specimens in pure water allows for the removal of NaCl (with a volume fraction of 60 %) and the formation of the pores to achieve a controlled relative density of 0.4. The present process can produce porous Ti–Al alloys with various compositions. In as-sintered Ti–Al specimens, an inhomogeneous microstructure consisting of Ti particles surrounded by the a Ti–Al alloy layer (various Ti–Al intermetallic phases) was observed. The as-sintered specimens exhibited the brittle behavior under compression, which is independent of their Al content. However, in a Ti–20Al alloy heat-treated at 1300 °C, a nearly Ti3Al single-phase microstructure appeared in the porous specimen. The heat-treated porous Ti–20Al alloy shows both a high plateau-strength level of approximately 100 MPa and a high plateau-end strain over 50%, resulting in a high absorption energy. The present results demonstrate that controlling the microstructure for the formation of the Ti3Al single-phase would be an effective method to achieve high energy absorption capacity of the porous Ti–Al alloy.
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