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Published October 1991 | public
Journal Article

Wedge-like microstructure in martensites


The wedge-like microstructure commonly seen in martensites, especially in shape-memory alloys, is an important mechanism for thermoelastic austenite-martensite transformation. This microstructure is analyzed using a suitable energy minimization principle. The Hadamard jump condition is used to characterize coherent interfaces. The crystallographic theory of martensite follows as a consequence of this. It is shown that only very special materials whose lattice parameters satisfy certain highly restrictive conditions can form the wedge-like microstructure. The lattice parameters of common shape-memory alloys satisfy these relations and their morphology shows good agreement with the predictions. This suggests that the microstructure and consequently the macroscopic behavior of martensites may depend very delicately on the lattice parameters.

Additional Information

© 1991 Pergamon Press. Received 24 September 1990; received for publication 28 March 1991. I thank Professor R. D. James for his constant encouragement, numerous suggestions and for comments on an early draft. I also thank Professor P. H. Leo for suggestions. I am glad to acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through NSF/DMS-8718881 and the Academic Computing Services, University of Minnesota.

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