Martensitic Transformation Under Compression of a Plasma Processed Polycrystalline Shape Memory CuAlNi Alloy

<div><p>Shape memory alloys (SMA) are attracting considerable attention owing to possible applications from biomedical to aerospace. In particular, CuAlNi alloys present significant advantages associated with low cost, easy processing and superior thermo-electric conductivity over other SMAs such as the NiTi alloys. Characterization of some properties and structural changes caused by martensitic transformation are still open to investigation. The present work evaluated these characteristics in an as-cast plasma processed shape memory Cu-14wt.%Al4wt.%Ni, which was compression tested until fracture. Experimental results showed that an as-cast ingot presents not only chemical and phase homogeneity, but also microstructures composed of grains with martensitic morphology. Martensites β'1 and γ'1, as well as intermediary martensitic R and high temperature β1 were identified by X-ray diffraction tests. It was found that the compressive deformation does not interfere in the phase composition and martensite morphology. However, compression changes the volumetric fractions and crystallographic orientation of the martensites. The mechanical behavior is characterized by an apparent elastic response until the fracture. The fractured surface exhibits brittle aspect like "river patterns" and evidence of intergranular rupture.</p></div>