Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Daniel Eylon (Committee Member), Nathan W. Klingbeil (Committee Member), Sharmila Mukhopadhyay (Committee Member), Raghavan Srinivasan (Advisor), Seshacharyulu Tamirisakandala (Committee Member), H. Daniel Young (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


One of the main objectives during primary processing of titanium alloys is to reduce the prior beta grain size. Producing an ingot with smaller prior beta grain size could potentially eliminate some primary processing steps and thus reduce processing cost. Trace additions of boron have been shown to decrease the as-cast grain size in alpha + beta titanium alloys. The primary focus of this dissertation is to investigate the effect of boron on microstructural stability and thermomechanical processing in beta titanium alloys.

Two metastable beta titanium alloys: Ti-15Mo-2.6Nb-3Al-0.2Si (Beta21S) and Ti-5Al-5V-5Mo-3Cr (Ti5553) with 0.1 wt% B and without boron additions were used in this investigation. Significant grain refinement of the as-cast microstructure and precipitation of TiB whiskers along the grain boundaries was observed with boron additions. Beta21S and Beta21S-0.1B alloys were annealed above the beta transus temperature for different times to investigate the effect of boron on grain size stability.

The TiB precipitates were very effective in restricting the beta grain boundary mobility by Zener pinning. A model has been developed to predict the maximum grain size as a function of TiB size, orientation, and volume fraction. Good agreement was obtained between model predictions and experimental results. Beta21S alloys were solution treated and aged for different times at several temperatures below the beta transus to study the kinetics of alpha precipitation. Though the TiB phase did not provide any additional nucleation sites for alpha precipitation, the grain refinement obtained by boron additions resulted in accelerated aging.

An investigation of the thermomechanical processing behavior showed different deformation mechanisms above the beta transus temperature. The non-boron containing alloys showed a non-uniform and fine recrystallized necklace structure at grain boundaries whereas uniform intragranular recrystallization was observed in boron containing alloys. Micro-voids were observed at the ends of the TiB needles at high temperature, slow strain rates as a result of decohesion at the TiB / matrix interfaces. At low temperatures and faster strain rates micro voids were also formed due to fracture of TiB needles. Finite element analysis on void formation in TiB containing alloys were in agreement with experimental observations.

Microhardness and tensile testing of as-cast + forged and aged Beta21S and Ti5553 alloys with and without boron did not show any significant differences in mechanical properties. The primary benefits of boron modified alloys are in as-cast condition.

Page Count


Department or Program

Ph.D. in Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Engineering Commons