Prediction and observation of crack tip microstructure in shape memory CuAlNi single crystals

G. M. Vasko, P. H. Leo, T. W. Shield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The formation of martensite at a notch tip in a CuAlNi shape memory alloy loaded in tension is studied. The geometry of the initial martensite plate to form at the notch is predicted theoretically, using the stress field at a crack tip in an anisotropic linearly elastic body together with a listing of all possible austenite-martensite interfaces from the Crystallographic Theory of Martensite (CTM). The stress field and CTM analyses are combined through a selection criterion based on computing the work available from the stress field to transform to each austenite-martensite interface. The resulting predictions are compared to experimentally observed microstructures in notched specimens of single crystal CuAlNi loaded in tension for eight notch orientations. Results show that the available work criterion accurately predicts the orientation, number and order of the austenite-martensite interfaces that initially form near a crack.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1843-1867
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
TWS and GV would like to thank the Office of Naval Research under grant N00014-91-J-4034 for supporting this research. GV would also like to thank Zonta International for fellowship support during part of this research.


  • A: Fracture mechanics
  • Fracture
  • Microstructures
  • Single crystal

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