Structural and Phase Equilibria Studies in the System Pt-Fe-Cu and the Occurrence of Tulameenite (Pt2FeCu)

M. Shahmiri1, S. Murphy1 and D. J. Vaughan2
1 Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, University of Aston in Birmingham, Birmingham B4 7ET
2 Department of Geological Sciences, University of Aston in Birmingham, Birmingham B4 7ET

Abstract: The crystal structure and compositional limits of the ternary compound Pt2FeCu (tulameenite), formed either by quenching from above the critical temperature of 1178°C or by slow cooling, have been investigated using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, differential thermal analysis and electron probe microanalysis.

The crystal structure of Pt2FeCu, established using electron density maps constructed from the measured and calculated intensities of X-ray diffraction patterns of powdered specimens, has the (000) and (11220) lattice sites occupied by Pt atoms and the (12012) and (01122) sites occupied by either Cu or Fe atoms in a random manner. The resulting face-centred tetragonal structure undergoes a disordering transformation at the critical temperature to a postulated non-quenchable face-centred cubic structure. Stresses on quenching, arising from the ordering reaction, are relieved by twinning along {101} planes or by recrystallization along with deformation twinning; always involving grain boundary fracturing.

Phase relations in the system Pt-Fe-Cu have been investigated through the construction of isothermal sections at 1000 and 600°C. At 1000°C there is an extensive single phase region of solid solution around Pt2FeCu and extending to the binary composition PtFe. At 600°C the composition Pt2FeCu lies just outside this now reduced area of solid solution in a two-phase field. Comparison of the experimental results with data for tulameenite suggests that some observed compositions may be metastably preserved. The occurrence of fine veinlets of silicate or other gangue minerals in tulameenite is suggested to result from grain boundary fracturing on cooling below the critical temperature of 1178°C and to be evidence of a magmatic origin.

Keywords: tulameenite • system Pt-Fe-Cu • crystal structure

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1985 v. 49; no. 353; p. 547-554; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1985.049.353.08
© 1985, The Mineralogical Society
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