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Shape Changing Transformations: Interactions with Plasticity and Electrochemical Processes


Roumi, Farshid (2010) Shape Changing Transformations: Interactions with Plasticity and Electrochemical Processes. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/P94H-4B23.


Solids undergo phase transformations where the crystal structure changes with temperature, chemical potential, stress, applied electric fields, or other external parameters. These occur by either long-range diffusion of atoms (diffusional phase transformation) or by some form of cooperative, homogeneous movement of many atoms that results in changes in crystal structure (displacive phase transformation). In the latter case, these movements are usually less than the interatomic distances, and the atoms maintain their coordination. The most common example of displacive phase transformations is martensitic transformation. The martensitic transformation in steel is economically very important and can result in very different behavior in the product. Other examples of martensitic transformations are shape memory alloys which are lightweight, solid-state alternatives to conventional actuators such as hydraulic, pneumatic, and motor-based systems.

The martensitic transformation usually only depends on temperature and stress and, in contrast to diffusion-based transformations, is not time dependent. In shape memory alloys the transformation is reversible. On the other hand in steel, the martensite formation from austenite by rapidly cooling carbon-steel is not reversible; so steel does not have shape memory properties.

In Chapters 2 and 3, we study the interesting yet very complicated behavior of martensitic transformation interactions with plastic deformations. A good example here is steel, which has been known for thousands of years but still is believed to be a very complicated material. Steel can show different behavior depending on its complex microstructure. Thus understanding the formation mechanisms is crucial for the interpretation and optimization of its properties. As an example, low alloyed steels with transformation induced plasticity (TRIP), metastable austenite steels, are known for strong hardening and excellent elongation and strength. It is suggested that the strain-induced transformation of small amounts of untransformed (retained) austenite into martensite during plastic deformation is a key to this excellent behavior.

In Chapters 4 and 5, we study the interactions of solid-solid phase transformations with electrochemical processes. It is suggested that electronic and ionic structures depends on lattice parameters, thus it is expected that structural transformations can lead to dramatic changes in material properties. These transformations can also change the energy barrier and hysteresis. It is known that compatible interfaces can reduce elastic energy and hysteresis, thus may extend the life of the system. Solid-solid transformations change the crystalline structure. These geometry changes can have long range effects and cause stresses in the whole material. The generated stress field itself changes the total free energy, due to the change in elastic energy, and thus, the electrochemical potential and processes are affected. An example is olivine phosphates which are candidates for cathode material in Li-ion batteries. These materials undergo an orthorhombic to orthorhombic phase transition. Experiments in the literature have suggested that elastic compatibility can affect rates of charge/discharge in the battery. Our theory provides some insight into this observation.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:plasticity, electrochemical processes
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Bhattacharya, Kaushik
Thesis Committee:
  • Bhattacharya, Kaushik (chair)
  • Lapusta, Nadia
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami
  • Johnson, William Lewis
Defense Date:28 May 2010
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05282010-141343271
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5883
Deposited By: Farshid Roumi
Deposited On:04 Aug 2010 18:13
Last Modified:08 Nov 2019 18:11

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