Evolution of microstructure in the LaNi5-D system during the early absorption-desorption cycles
During the first few hydrogenation-dehydrogenation cycles of virgin LaNi5, the absorption plateau pressure drops sharply, accompanied by powdering of the starting intermetallic. We looked for an explanation of this phenomenon in the microstructural features of the metal that can be studied via diffraction. Five complete absorption-desorption cycles were conducted in an unbroken sequence, with neutron powder diffraction patterns being recorded in cycles 1, 2 and 5. We found that, after activation, the drop in absorption plateau pressure correlates with increasing coherency of the phase transformation in the c-direction, translating to lower elastic strain energy associated with the transformation. The total microstrain in the dehydrided metal is essentially constant after cycle 1. These findings afford a partial understanding of the pressure behaviour in the first few cycles, but the mechanism by which the lattice coherency develops remains to be explained.
Journal of Alloys and Compounds