Effect of Nb addition on microstructure evolution and nanomechanical properties of a glass-forming Ti-Zr-Si alloy

S. Abdi, M. Samadi Khoshkhoo, O. Shuleshova, M. Bönisch, M. Calin, L. Schultz, J. Eckert, M. D. Baró, J. Sort, A. Gebert

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The glass-forming Ti75Zr10Si15 alloy is regarded as a potential material for implant applications due to its composition of non-toxic, biocompatible elements and some interesting mechanical properties. The effects of partial substitution of 15 at.% Ti by Nb on the microstructure and the mechanical behaviour have been investigated by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, transmission electron microscopy and nanoindentation techniques. Copper mold casting and melt-spinning methods have been applied to study the influence of the cooling rate on the properties of both alloys, Ti75Zr 10Si15 and Ti60Zr10Nb 15Si15. As a result of different cooling rates, significant microstructural variations from multiphase crystalline states in cast rods to nanocomposite structures in ribbons were observed. The limited glass-forming ability (GFA) of the Ti75Zr10Si15 alloy results for melt-spun ribbons mainly in nanocomposite structures with β-type nanocrystals being embedded in a glassy matrix. Addition of Nb increases the glass-forming ability. Raising the overheating temperature of the melt prior to melt-spinning from 1923 K to 2053 K yields for both alloys a higher amorphous phase fraction. The mechanical properties were investigated using compression tests (bulk samples) and the nano-indentation technique. A decrease of hardness (H), ultimate stress and reduced Young's modulus (E r) is observed for Ti60Zr10Nb 15Si15 rods as compared to Ti75Zr 10Si15 ones. This is attributed to an increase of the fraction of the β-type phase. The melt-spun ribbons show an interesting combination of very high hardness values (H) and moderate reduced elastic modulus values (Er). This results in comparatively very high H/E r ratios of >0.075 which suggests these new materials for applications demanding high wear resistance. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-163
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • B. Glasses, metallic
  • B. Mechanical properties at ambient temperature
  • C. Nanocrystals
  • C. Rapid solidification processing
  • D. Microstructure
  • G. Biomedical applications


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