The aim of the present work is to investigate the synthesis of Ti-Nb alloy films obtained by the physical vapor deposition (PVD) magnetron sputtering of Nb films on Ti substrates, followed by low-energy high-current electron beam (LEHCEB) alloying treatment. Ti-Nb alloys were synthetized under two different regimes, one by varying the deposited amount of Nb (from 25 to 150 nm) and treating samples with low applied voltages and a number of pulses (three pulses at either 20 or 25 kV), the second by setting the amount of Nb (100 nm) and alloying it at a higher applied voltage with a different number of pulses (from 10 to 50 at 25 and 30 kV). The synthetized Ti-Nb alloys were characterized by XRD and GDOES for phase identification and chemical composition; SEM and optical microscopy were employed for morphology evaluation; compositional investigation was done by EDS analysis and mechanical properties were evaluated by microindentation tests. LEHCEB treatment led to the formation of metastable phases (α', α″ and β) which, together with the grain refinement effect, was responsible for improved mechanical properties.
Keywords: graded alloy; low-energy high-current electron beam; titanium–niobium alloys.