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Abstract

After almost three decades of intensive fundamental research and development activities, intermetallic titanium aluminides based on the ordered γ-TiAl phase have found applications in automotive and aircraft engine industry. The advantages of this class of innovative high-temperature materials are their low density and their good strength and creep properties up to 750 °C as well as their good oxidation and burn resistance. Advanced TiAl alloys are complex multi-phase alloys which can be processed by ingot or powder metallurgy as well as precision casting methods. Each process leads to specific microstructures which can be altered and optimized by thermo-mechanical processing and/or subsequent heat treatments. The background of these heat treatments is at least twofold, i.e., concurrent increase of ductility at room temperature and creep strength at elevated temperature. This review gives a general survey of engineering γ-TiAl based alloys, but concentrates on β-solidifying γ-TiAl based alloys which show excellent hot-workability and balanced mechanical properties when subjected to adapted heat treatments. The content of this paper comprises alloy design strategies, progress in processing, evolution of microstructure, mechanical properties as well as application-oriented aspects, but also shows how sophisticated ex situ and in situ methods can be employed to establish phase diagrams and to investigate the evolution of the micro- and nanostructure during hot-working and subsequent heat treatments.