Cavitation-Induced erosion of Ti-6Al-4V

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Cavitation-induced erosion has been examined in Ti-6A1-4V in the mill annealed, solution-treat and aged, and beta annealed conditions. Weight loss data show only small differences between heat treatments with the solution-treat and aged microstructure exhibiting the lowest weight loss rates. Sequential micrographs of the same specimen area as a function of erosion time show that initial fracture occurs along the α-β interfaces and along crystallographic slip bands in the α-phase. The early stages of erosion are also dependent on the orientation of the Widmanstatten colonies in the beta annealed condition. These observations strongly suggest that fatigue fracture is important, at least in the early stages of the cavitation erosion process. Depression of the softer α- phase also occurs at short exposure times, and this facilitates fracture and removal of the exposed material;i.e., β-phase or tempered martensite. Examination of the eroded surfaces in the later stages where considerable material has been removed shows little evidence of the underlying microstructure, despite the distinct differences in the micro-structures of the samples tested.

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Metallurgical Transactions A