shape memory alloys, in-situ diffraction, neutron, synchrotron, x-ray, NiTi, superelasticity, linear superelasticity, shape memory effect, tension compression, plastic deformation, heterogeneous transformation, martensitic transformation, Inc


Deformation phenomena in shape memory alloys involve stress-, temperature-induced phase transformations and crystallographic variant conversion or reorientation, equivalent to a twinning operation. In near equiatomic NiTi, Ti rich compositions can exist near room temperature as a monoclinic B19' martensitic phase, which when deformed undergoes twinning resulting in strains as large as 8%. Upon heating, the martensite transforms to a cubic B2 austenitic phase, thereby recovering the strain and exhibiting the shape memory effect. Ni rich compositions on the other hand can exist near room temperature in the austenitic phase and undergo a reversible martensitic transformation on application of stress. Associated with this reversible martensitic transformation are macroscopic strains, again as large as 8%, which are also recovered and resulting in superelasticity. This work primarily focuses on neutron diffraction measurements during loading at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Three phenomena were investigated: First, the phenomena of hysteresis reduction and increase in linearity with increasing plastic deformation in superelastic NiTi. There is usually a hysteresis associated with the forward and reverse transformations in superelastic NiTi which translates to a hysteresis in the stress-strain curve during loading and unloading. This hysteresis is reduced in cold-worked NiTi and the macroscopic stress-strain response is more linear. This work reports on measurements during loading and unloading in plastically deformed (up to 11%) and cycled NiTi. Second, the tension-compression stress-strain asymmetry in martensitic NiTi. This work reports on measurements during tensile and compressive loading of polycrystalline shape-memory martensitic NiTi with no starting texture. Third, a heterogeneous stress-induced phase transformation in superelastic NiTi. Measurements were performed on a NiTi disc specimen loaded laterally in compression and associated with a macroscopically heterogeneous stress state. For the case of superelastic NiTi, the experiments related the macroscopic stress-strain behavior (from an extensometer or an analytical approach) with the texture, phase volume fraction and strain evolution (from neutron diffraction spectra). For the case of shape memory NiTi, the macroscopic connection was made with the texture and strain evolution due to twinning and elastic deformation in martensitic NiTi. In all cases, this work provided for the first time insight into atomic-scale phenomena such as mismatch accommodation and martensite variant selection. The aforementioned technique of neutron diffraction for mechanical characterization was also extended to engineering components and focused mainly on the determination of residual strains. Two samples were investigated and presented in this work; first, a welded INCONEL 718 NASA space shuttle flow liner was studied at 135 K and second, Ti-6Al-4V turbine blade components were investigated for Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation. Lastly, also reported in this dissertation is a refinement of the methodology established in the author's masters thesis at UCF that used synchrotron x-ray diffraction during loading to study superelastic NiTi. The Los Alamos Neutron Science Center is a national user facility funded by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36. The work reported here was made possible by grants to UCF from NASA (NAG3-2751), NSF CAREER (DMR-0239512), Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation and the Space Research Initiative.


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Graduation Date





Vaidyanathan, Rajan


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering








Release Date

January 2007

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)