A transformation-induced elastic strain effect on the decomposition kinetics of a disordered phase into a mixture of ordered and disordered phases was investigated for a prototype binary alloy in two dimensions (2-D) by using a computer simulation technique. The simulation technique not only described simultaneously different processes, such as atomic ordering, clustering, disordering and coarsening, but also produced automatically ordered structures and alloy morphologies. It was found that irrespective of the degree of the crystal lattice mismatch between precipitates and the matrix, the alloy morphologies, developed during the congruent ordering stage which preceded the decomposition, showed no alignment in any of the crystallographic directions. Alignment developed during subbequent decomposition of the congruently ordered single phase, which resulted in the appearance of an equilibrium disordered phase preferentially along the antiphase domain boundaries. It became increasingly pronounced as the time of alloy aging increased. The aligned morphology finally formed the modulated structure found in many alloys. This mechanism of modulated structure formation is new since almost all previous experimentally observed modulated structures were interpreted as a result of a homogeneous spinodal decomposition. The predicted kinetics was found to be in excellent agreement with recent experimental results in a Fe-Si system and should be expected in most two-phase alloys with an ordered intermetallic precipitate whose stress-free lattice constant is significantly different from that of the disordered matrix.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics