Titanium alloys are heat treated for a number of reasons, the main ones being to increase strength by solution treatment and aging as well as to optimize special properties, such as fracture toughness, fatigue strength and high temperature creep strength.
Alpha and near-alpha alloys cannot be dramatically changed by heat treatment. Stress relief and annealing are the processes that can be employed for this class of titanium alloys. The heat treatment cycles for beta alloys differ significantly from those for the alpha and alpha-beta alloys. Beta alloys can not only be stress relieved or annealed, but also can be solution treated and aged. The alpha-beta alloys are two-phase alloys, comprising both alpha and beta phases at room temperature. Phase compositions, sizes, and distributions of phases in alpha-beta alloys can be manipulated within certain limits by heat treatment, thus permitting tailoring of properties.
Alpha and near-alpha alloys
The micro-structure of alpha alloys cannot be strongly manipulated by heat treatment since alpha alloys undergo no significant phase change. As a result, high strength can not be acquired for the alpha alloys by heat treatment. Yet, alpha and near-alpha titanium alloys can be stress relieved and annealed.
By working as well as heat treatment of alpha-beta alloys below or above the alpha-beta transition temperature, large micro-structural changes can be achieved. This may give a substantial hardening of the material. Solution treatment plus aging is used to produce maximum strengths in alpha-beta alloys. Also, other heat treatments, including stress-relief heat treatments, are practiced for this group of titanium alloys as well.
In commercial beta alloys, stress-relieving and aging treatments can be combined!
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