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The effect of the applied stress on the deformation and crack nucleation and propagation mechanisms of a gamma-TiAl intermetallic alloy (Ti-45Al-2Nb-2Mn (at. pct)-0.8 vol. pct TiB2) was examined by means of in situ tensile (constant strain rate) and tensile-creep (constant load) experiments performed at 973 K (700 °C) using a scanning electron microscope. Colony boundary cracking developed during the secondary stage in creep tests at 300 and 400 MPa and during the tertiary stage of the creep tests performed at higher stresses. Colony boundary cracking was also observed in the constant strain rate tensile test. Interlamellar ledges were only found during the tensile-creep tests at high stresses (sigma > 400 MPa) and during the constant strain rate tensile test. Quantitative measurements of the nature of the crack propagation path along secondary cracks and along the primary crack indicated that colony boundaries were preferential sites for crack propagation under all the conditions investigated. The frequency of interlamellar cracking increased with stress, but this fracture mechanism was always of secondary importance. Translamellar cracking was only observed along the primary crack.
titanium aluminide alloys; lamellar tial alloys; creep-behavior; microstructural instability; base alloys; tensile; al