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Copley and James C. Williams 3. The quenched alloys exhibit a slight increase in strength during aging. This suggests that the β-phase precipitation during aging also provides some strengthening. The distribution of /3-phase particles is not uniform and the interparticle spacing is large and irregular com­ pared to that expected for classical precipitation hardening. Further, the β phase is largely nucleated at martensite plate boundaries and at dislo­ cations (Williams and Blackburn, 1967). These factors suggest that βphase precipitation results in interfacial strengthening of the martensitic regions.

The origin and composition of these phases and their role in controlling grain structure have been summarized by Speidel and Hyatt (1972). These details are not repeated here, but it is useful to note that these particles can also influence fracture toughness and fatigue crack growth behavior by acting as a hard, nondeforming region, as discussed in Chapters VI and VII. In some cases, such an inclusion is beneficial, and in other cases harmful, as shown by Pelloux (1964). An example of duc­ tile tearing around such an inclusion is shown in Fig.

The precise mechanism of such retardation has not been investigated but it is 2 3 3 43 II High-Strength Nonferrous Alloys suggested that Z r - O clusters will form in this material because of the strong interaction between zirconium and oxygen. The presence of such clusters can certainly retard recovery and recrystallization due to strain aging. In general, the use of single-phase Cu-base alloys in the highstrength condition must be approached cautiously because the high residual stresses due to cold-rolling make them susceptible to environ­ mentally induced cracking.

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