Microstructural characterization of Ti-6Al-4V alloy subjected to the duplex SMAT/plasma nitriding
Microscopy Research and Technique
In this study, microstructural characterization of Ti-6Al-4V alloy, subjected to the duplex surface mechanical attrition treatment (SMAT)/nitriding treatment, leading to improve its mechanical properties, was carried out through novel and original samples preparation methods. Instead of acid etching which is limited for morphological characterization by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), an original ion polishing method was developed. Moreover, for structural characterization by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), an ion milling method based with the use of two ions guns was also carried out for cross-section preparation. To demonstrate the efficiency of the two developed methods, morphological investigations were done by traditional SEM and field emission gun SEM. This was followed by structural investigations through selected area electron diffraction (SAED) coupled with TEM and X-ray diffraction techniques. The results demonstrated that ionic polishing allowed to reveal a variation of the microstructure according to the surface treatment that could not be observed by acid etching preparation. TEM associated to SAED and X-ray diffraction provided information regarding the nanostructure compositional changes induced by the duplex SMAT/nitriding process. Microsc. Res. Tech. 76:897-903, 2013. Â© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.