The deformation of bcc alloys
A detailed study has been made of thermally activated glide between 373 K and 20 K for UHV annealed single crystals of two Nb based substitutional alloy systems containing 1-16 at.%Mo or 4 - 60 at.%Ta, in conjunction with a study of the deformation of UHV annealed single crystals of Nb between 4.2 K and 77 K. Whilst the addition of Ta had only a small effect on the properties of Nb as measured by activation volume and enthalpy and the temperature dependence of the flow stress, it produced a large increase in the low temperature yield stress and displaced the appearance of anomalous slip to lower temperatures, e.g. 77 K for the 10 at.%Ta alloy. Addition of Mo produced more rapid changes Whilst the 1 at.%Mo alloy behaved like the Nb-Ta alloys, the appearance of anomalous slip was depressed to 113 K. Further additions appeared to suppress anomalous slip completely and radically alter the behaviour of the alloys. The thermodynamic analysis suggested that the more concentrated Nb-Mo alloys show a change in the rate limiting step at low temperatures, cf. a peak in the activation volume - effective stress curve. No solution softening was observed in the alloys. Complex transients were found for all the alloys at and below 77 K after changes in strain rate. The yield and thermal stresses for Nb deforming by anomalous slip were independent of temperature between 77 K and 50 K, only regaining a temperature sensitivity below 50 K. The importance of this for models of anomalous slip was discussed. Complex overshoots were observed after changes in the strain rate. Those observed at and below 20 K have been explained by reference to the change in specimen temperature produced by heat generation during dislocation glide.