2017 Volume 57 Issue 6 Pages 1062-1071
The effects of nitride layer and microstructure on the Erichsen value of commercially pure titanium JIS-class1 sheets were evaluated after cold rolling followed by annealing at 700–860°C both in nitrogen gas and in vacuum in order to clarify the controlling factors independently.
Irrespective of the annealing methods, grain size increased with the increase in the annealing temperature; however, after the maximum grain size by annealing at 820°C, grain size decreased with the increase in the temperature, due to the retardation effect of grain growth by the presence of the β phase. The Erichsen value was confirmed to increase with the increase in grain size; however, even if grain size is the same, the titanium sheets annealed in the two phase (α+β) region exhibit inferior forming properties such as the Erichsen value, elongation and n-value than those annealed in the single α phase. The hard Fe rich region formed along α grain boundaries, which is originated from β to α phase transformation during cooling, is considered to impair the forming properties.
Furthermore, the Erichsen value was evidently improved by annealing in nitrogen gas due to the formation of the nitride layer, which contributes to lowering the friction coefficient. However, the thick nitride layer formed at temperatures higher than 840°C no longer has the beneficial effect, because the thick nitride layer tends to easily fracture leading to fine cracks in the sheet surface. Annealing the sheets in the temperature range of 810–830°C for 30 s in nitrogen gas was the optimum condition for the best press formability.