The unique combination of attributes—high strength to weight ratio, excellent heat treatability, a high degree of hardenability, and a remarkable hot and cold workability—has made beta titanium alloys an attractive group of materials for several aerospace applications. Titanium alloys, in general, possess a high degree of resistance to biofluid environments; beta titanium alloys with high molybdenum equivalent have low elastic modulus coming close to that of human bone, making them particularly attractive for biomedical applications. Bulk processing of the alloys for aerospace applications is carried out by double vacuum melting followed by hot working. There have been many studies with reference to super-solvus and sub-solvus forging of beta titanium alloys. For alloys with low to medium level of molybdenum equivalent, sub-solvus forging was demonstrated to result in a superior combination of mechanical properties. A number of studies have been carried out in the area of heat treatment of beta titanium alloys. Studies have also been devoted to surface modification of beta titanium alloys. The chapter attempts to review these studies, with emphasis on aerospace and biomedical applications.
Part of the book: Titanium Alloys
Heat treatment of metastable beta titanium alloys involves essentially two steps—solution treatment in beta or alpha+beta phase field and aging at appropriate lower temperatures. High strength in beta titanium alloys can be developed via solution treatment followed by aging by precipitating fine alpha (α) particles in a beta (β) matrix. Volume fraction and morphology of α determine the strength whereas ductility is dependent on the β grain size. Solution treatment in (α + β) range can give rise to a better combination of mechanical properties, compared to solution treatment in the β range. However, aging at some temperatures may lead to a low/nil-ductility situation and this has to be taken into account while designing the aging step. Heating rate to aging temperature also has a significant effect on the microstructure and mechanical properties obtained after aging. In addition to α, formation of intermediate phases such as omega, beta prime during decomposition of beta phase has been a subject of detailed studies. In addition to covering these issues, the review pays special attention to heat treatment of beta titanium alloys for biomedical applications, in view of the growing interest this class of alloys have been receiving.
Part of the book: Welding