Superalloys

The Term 'superalloy' refers to metalic alloys that have been designed to withstand high temperatures and mechanical loads without deforming, including specifically creep, or corroding. Many of these superalloys have been developed for applications in fields such as gas turbines and jet engines, that is in areas where extreme heat together with mechanical loading occur. Hence, about 75% of all superalloys are used as disks, vanes and engine blades in aerospace applications.

Further typcial application fields are in heat exchangers, components for chemical reaction vessels, equipment for heat treatment and oil and gas-drilling products.
Due to their ability to withstand deformation at high temperatures, they are 
not veryductile and thus challenging to process.
To achieve the properties required to be classified as a superalloy, these materials usually contain nickel or cobalt as a matrix metal and higher fractions of various refractory alloying elements.


Some examples of superalloy families are:

 

Cobalt – Based: Haynes, Hiperco, Stellite

 

Iron – Based: Astroloy

 

Nickel - Based: Hastelloy, Rene, Inconel, Waspaloy, Monel

 

Hot cracking mechanism affecting a non-weldable Ni-based superalloy produced by selective electron Beam Melting
Acta Materialia 142 (2018) 82-94
Acta Mater 2017 Hot cracking Ni-based su[...]
PDF-Dokument [6.5 MB]

In this project a non weldable nickel-based superalloy was fabricated by powder bed-based selective electron beam melting (S-EBM). The as-built samples exhibit a heterogeneous microstructure along the build direction. A gradient of columnar grain size as well as a significant gradient in the g0 precipitate size were found along the build direction. Microstructural defects such as gas porosity inherited from the powders, shrinkage pores and cracks inherited from the S-EBM process were identified. The origins of those defects are discussed with a particular emphasis on crack formation. Cracks were consistently found to
propagate intergranular and the effect of crystallographic misorientation on the cracking behavior was investigated. A clear correlation was identified between cracks and high angle grain boundaries (HAGB). The cracks were classified as hot cracks based on the observation of the fracture surface of micro-tensile
specimens machined from as-built S-EBM samples. The conditions required to trigger hot cracking, namely, presence of a liquid film during the last stage of solidification and thermal stresses are discussed within the framework of additive manufacturing. Understanding the cracking mechanism enables to provide guidelines to obtain crack-free specimens of non-weldable Ni-based superalloys produced by S-EBM.

Effect of ruthenium on the precipitation of topologically close packed phases in Ni-based superalloys of 3rd and 4th generation
Acta Materialia 95 (2015) 274-283
Effect of ruthenium on the precipitation of topologically close packed phases in Ni-based superalloys of 3rd and 4th generation
K. Matuszewski, R. Rettig, H. Matysiak, Z. Peng, I. Povstugar, P. Choi, J. Müller, D. Raabe, E. Spiecker, K.J. Kurzydłowski, R.F. Singer
Acta Materialia 95 (2015) 274 Ni base su[...]
PDF-Dokument [1.6 MB]
Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base Acta Materialia 95 (2015) 274-283 Effect of ruthenium on the precipitation of topologically close packed phases in Ni-based superalloys of 3rd and 4th generation K. Matuszewski, R. Rettig, H. Matysiak, Z. Peng, I. Povstugar, P. Choi, J. Müller et al.

 

The precipitation of topologically close packed (TCP) phases is detrimental for the high temperature strength of high refractory Ni-based superalloys. The beneficial influence of Ru with respect to this so called instability is nowadays well accepted. In the present paper the precipitation of topologically close
packed (TCP) phases is studied quantitatively in two experimental alloys (one Ru-free and one with addition of Ru) to clarify the mechanism of the Ru effect. It is confirmed that the TCP phase precipitates undergo sequential phase transformation with the tetragonal r-phase precipitating first. Ru retards
the phase transformation and leads to decreased equilibrium volume fraction of TCP phases. The results clearly indicate that Ru decreases the driving force for TCP phase precipitation. Investigations of crystallography and chemistry of the TCP/matrix interface point to an additional effect by increase of misfit
strain energy.

 

Atom probe informed simulations of dislocation–precipitate interactions reveal the importance of local interface curvature
Atom probe informed simulations of dislocation–precipitate interactions reveal the importance of local interface curvature
A. Prakash, J. Guenole, J. Wang, J. Müller, E. Spiecker, M.J. Mills, I. Povstugar, P. Choi, D. Raabe and E. Bitzek
Acta Materialia 92 (2015) 33 Atom probe [...]
PDF-Dokument [1.8 MB]
Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base Atom probe informed simulations of dislocation–precipitate interactions reveal the importance of local interface curvature A. Prakash, J. Guenole, J. Wang, J. Müller, E. Spiecker, M.J. Mills, I. Povstugar, P. Choi, D. Raabe and E. Bitzek
Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base Atom probe informed simulations of dislocation–precipitate interactions reveal the importance of local interface curvature A. Prakash, J. Guenole, J. Wang, J. Müller, E. Spiecker, M.J. Mills, I. Povstugar, P. Choi, D. Raabe and E. Bitzek

 

The interaction of dislocations with precipitates is an essential strengthening mechanism in metals, as exemplified by the superior high-temperature strength of Ni-base superalloys. Here we use atomistic simulation samples generated from atom probe tomography data of a single crystal superalloy to study the interactions of matrix dislocations with a gamma' precipitate in molecular dynamics simulations. It is shown that the precipitate morphology, in particular its local curvature, and the local chemical composition significantly alter both, the misfit dislocation network which forms at the precipitate interface, and the core structure of the misfit dislocations. Simulated tensile tests reveal the atomic scale details of many experimentally observed dislocation–precipitate interaction mechanisms, which cannot be reproduced by idealized simulation setups with planar interfaces. We thus demonstrate the need to include interface curvature in the study of semicoherent precipitates and introduce as an enabling method atom probe tomography-informed atomistic simulations.

 

Elemental partitioning and mechanical properties of Ti- and Ta-containing Co–Al–W-base superalloys studied by atom probe tomography and nanoindentation
Acta Materialia 78 (2014) 78-85
Acta Mater 2014 Co base superalloy atom [...]
PDF-Dokument [768.8 KB]

Acta Materialia 78 (2014) 78-85:

Ni-base superalloys are nowadays the key engineering materials for high-temperature parts in aircraft engines and stationary turbines for power generation. The excellent creep resistance of these alloys is provided by a microstructure consisting of coherent cuboidal gamma' (L12) precipitates dispersed in a gamma (face-centered cubic (fcc)) matrix. Since the recent discovery of the ternary gamma' Co3(Al, W) intermetallic phase by Sato et al. [1], Co-base superalloys with a similar type of microstructure have emerged as a promising alternative to Ni-based alloys, with a potential to exhibit even better properties. In particular, Co–Al–W based alloys may be less prone to freckling formation [2] and possess higher melting temperatures than Ni-based superalloys [3,4], but they still exhibit lower creep resistance, mainly due to a lower c0 solvus temperature. In order to compete with their Ni-based counterparts and to achieve commercialization, various properties of gamma' -strengthened Co-based superalloys must be further understood and optimized. Knowledge-based alloy design is necessary to
optimize the thermal stability, gamma /gamma' lattice misfit, volume fraction of the gamma' phase and thus the mechanical properties at elevated operating temperatures.
Here, elemental partitioning and hardness in Ti- and Ta-containing Co-base superalloys, strengthened by γ′-Co3(Al, W) precipitates, have been studied by local measurements. Using atom probe tomography, we detect strong partitioning of W (partitioning coefficients from 2.4 to 3.4) and only slight partitioning of Al (partitioning coefficients ⩽1.1) to the γ′-Co3(Al, W) phase. Al segregates to the γ/γ′ phase boundaries, whereas W is depleted at the γ side of the boundaries after aging at 900 °C and slow air cooling. This kind of Al segregation and W depletion is much less pronounced when water quenching is applied. As a result, these effects are considered to be absent at high temperatures and therefore should not influence the creep properties. Ti and Ta additions are found to strongly partition to the γ′ phase and greatly increase the γ′ volume fraction. Our results indicate that the alloying elements Al, W, Ti and Ta all occupy the B sublattice of the A3B structure (L12 type) and affect the partitioning behavior of each other. Nanoindentation measurements show that Ta also increases the hardness of the γ′ phase, while the hardness of the γ channels remains nearly constant in all alloys. The change in hardness of the γ′ phase can be ascribed to the substitution of Al and W atoms by Ti and/or Ta.

 

Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base Povstugar et al. / Acta Materialia vol 78 (2014) 78: Elemental partitioning and mechanical properties of Ti- and Ta-containing Co–Al–W-base superalloys
Interfacial dislocation motion and interactions in single-crystal superalloys
Acta Materialia 79 (2014) 216-233
Interfacial dislocation motion and interactions in single-crystal superalloys
Acta 2014 dislocations single-crystal su[...]
PDF-Dokument [1.1 MB]
dislocation dynamics, Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base Acta Materialia 79 (2014) 216-233 Interfacial dislocation motion and interactions in single-crystal superalloys

 

The early stage of high-temperature low-stress creep in single-crystal superalloys is characterized by the rapid development of interfacial dislocation networks. Although interfacial motion and dynamic recovery of these dislocation networks have long been expected to control the subsequent creep behavior, direct observation and hence in-depth understanding of such processes has not been achieved. Incorporating recent developments of discrete dislocation dynamics models, we simulate interfacial dislocation motion in the channel structures of single-crystal superalloys, and investigate how interfacial dislocation motion and dynamic recovery are affected by interfacial dislocation interactions and lattice misfit. Different types of dislocation interactions are considered: self, collinear, coplanar, Lomer junction, glissile junction, and Hirth junction. The simulation results show that strong dynamic recovery occurs due to the short-range reactions of collinear annihilation and Lomer junction formation. The misfit stress is found to induce and accelerate dynamic recovery of interfacial dislocation networks involving self-interaction and Hirth junction formation, but slow down the steady interfacial motion of coplanar and glissile junction forming dislocation networks. The insights gained from these simulations on high-temperature low-stress creep of single-crystal superalloys are also discussed.

 

Effect of climb on dislocation mechanisms and creep rates in gamma'-strengthened Ni base superalloy single crystals: A discrete dislocation dynamics study
Acta Materialia 61 (2013) 3709-3723
discrete-dislocation-modeling-superalloy[...]
PDF-Dokument [2.9 MB]

Creep of single-crystal superalloys is governed by dislocation glide, climb, reactions and annihilation. Discrete three-dimensional (3D) dislocation dynamics (DDD) simulations are used to study the evolution of the dislocation substructure in a gamma/gamma' microstructure of a single-crystal superalloy for different climb rates and loading conditions. A hybrid mobility law for glide and climb is used to map the interactions of dislocations with the gamma' cube precipitates. The focus is on the early stages of creep, where dislocation plasticity is confined to narrow gamma  channels. With enhancing climb mobility, the creep strain increases, even if the applied resolved shear stress is below the critical stress required for squeezing dislocations into the gamma  channels. The simulated creep microstructure consists of long dislocations and a network near the corners of the gamma' precipitate in the low-stress regime. In the high-stress regime, dislocations squeeze into the gamma  channels, where they deposit dislocation segments at the gamma/gamma'  interfaces. These observations are in good agreement with experimentally observed dislocation structures that form during high-temperature and low-stress creep.

 

superalloy, dislocation dynamics, Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base S.M. Hafez Haghighat et al. / Acta Materialia 61 (2013) 3709–3723; Effect of climb on dislocation mechanisms and creep rates in gamma'-strengthened Ni base superalloy single crystals: A discrete dislocation dynamics study
dislocation dynamics, Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base S.M. Hafez Haghighat et al. / Acta Materialia 61 (2013) 3709–3723; Effect of climb on dislocation mechanisms and creep rates in gamma'-strengthened Ni base superalloy single crystals: A discrete dislocation dynamics study
Microstructural evolution of a Ni-based superalloy (617B) at 700°C studied by electron microscopy and atom probe tomography
Darius Tytko, Pyuck-Pa Choi, Jutta Klöwer, Aleksander Kostka, Gerhard Inden, Dierk Raabe
Acta Materialia 60 (2012) 1731-1740
Microstructural evolution of a Ni-based superalloy (617B) at 700°C studied by electron microscopy and atom probe tomography
Acta Materialia 60 (2012) 1731 Ni supera[...]
PDF-Dokument [1.3 MB]
dislocation dynamics, Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base Darius Tytko, Pyuck-Pa Choi, Jutta Klöwer, Aleksander Kostka, Gerhard Inden, Dierk Raabe Acta Materialia 60 (2012) 1731-1740 Microstructural evolution of a Ni-based superalloy (617B) at 700°C studied by electron microscopy and atom probe tomography

 

We report on the microstructural evolution of a polycrystalline Ni-based superalloy (Alloy 617B) for power plant applications at a service temperature of 700 C. The formation of secondaryM23C6-carbides close to grain boundaries (GBs) and around primary Ti(C,N) particles is observed upon annealing at 700 C, where gamma' is found to nucleate heterogeneously at M23C6 carbides. Using atom probe tomography, elemental partitioning to the phases and composition profiles across phase and grain boundaries are determined. Enrichments of B at gamma/M23C6 and gamma'/M23C6 interfaces as well as at grain boundaries are detected, while no B enrichment is found at gamma/gamma' interfaces. It is suggested that segregation of B in conjunction with c0 formation stabilizes a network of secondary M23C6 precipitates near GBs and thus increases the creep rupture life of Alloy 617B. Calculations of the equilibrium phase compositions by Thermo-Calc confirm the chemical compositions measured by atom probe tomography.

 

Advanced Scale Bridging Microstructure Analysis of Single Crystal Ni-Base Superalloys
Alireza B. Parsa, Philip Wollgramm, Hinrich Buck, Christoph Somsen, Aleksander Kostka, Ivan Povstugar, Pyuck-Pa Choi, Dierk Raabe, Antonin Dlouhy, Julian Müuller, Erdmann Spiecker, Kathrin Demtroder, Jüurgen Schreuer, Klaus Neuking and Gunther Eggeler
ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2015, 17, No. 2, page 216
Advanced Scale Bridging Microstructure Analysis of Single Crystal Ni-Base Superalloys
Adv Eng Mat 2015 vol 17 page 216 Scale B[...]
PDF-Dokument [707.6 KB]
dislocation dynamics, Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2015, 17, No. 2, page 216 Advanced Scale Bridging Microstructure Analysis of Single Crystal Ni-Base Superalloys
dislocation dynamics, Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2015, 17, No. 2, page 216 Advanced Scale Bridging Microstructure Analysis of Single Crystal Ni-Base Superalloys
dislocation dynamics, Turbine blade, superalloy, atom probe tomography, creep, dislocation, multiscale, Ni-base, Co-base ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATERIALS 2015, 17, No. 2, page 216 Advanced Scale Bridging Microstructure Analysis of Single Crystal Ni-Base Superalloys

 

Here, we show how conventional and advanced mechanical, chemical, and microstructural methods can be used to characterize cast single crystal Ni-base superalloy (SX) plates across multiple length scales. Two types of microstructural heterogeneities are important, associated with the cast
microstructure (dendrites (D) and interdendritic (ID) regions – large scale heterogeneity) and with the well-known gamma/gamma' microstructure (small scale heterogeneity). Using electron probe micro-analysis (EPMA), we can show that elements such as Re, Co, and Cr partition to the dendrites while ID regions
contain more Al, Ta, and Ti. Analytical transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography (APT) show that Al, Ta, and Ti partition to the g0 cubes while g channels show higher concentrations of Co, Cr, Re, and W. We can combine large scale (EPMA) and small-scale analytical methods (APT) to
obtain reasonable estimates for g0 volume fractions in the dendrites and in the ID regions. The chemical and mechanical properties of the SX plates studied in the present work are homogeneous, when they are determined fromvolumes with dimensions, which are significantly larger than the dendrite spacing. For
the SX plates (140mmx100mmx20mm) studied in the present work this holds for the average chemical composition as well as for elastic behavior and local creep properties.We highlight the potential of HRTEM and APT to contribute to a better understanding of the role of dislocations during coarsening of the gamma' phase and the effect of cooling rates after high temperature exposure on the microstructure.

 

On the origin of creep dislocations in a Ni-base, single-crystal superalloy: an ECCI, EBSD, and dislocation dynamics-based study
Acta Materialia 109 (2016) 151-161
On the origin of creep dislocations in a Ni-base, single-crystal superalloy: an ECCI, EBSD, and dislocation dynamics-based study
Ram et al Ni base superalloy creep dislc[...]
PDF-Dokument [2.2 MB]

This work investigates the origin of creep dislocations in a Ni-base, single crystal superalloy subject to creep at an intermediate stress and temperature. Employing high angular resolution electron backscatter diffraction (HR-EBSD), electron channeling contrast imaging under controlled diffraction conditions
(cECCI) and discrete dislocation dynamics (DDD) modelling, it is shown that low-angle boundaries which correspond to dendrite boundaries or their residues after annealing are not the major sources of creep dislocations. At the onset of creep deformation, they are the only active sources. Creep dislocations are emitted from them and percolate into the dislocation-depleted crystal. However, the percolation is very slow. As creep deformation proceeds, before the boundary-originated dislocations move further than a few micrometers away from their source boundary, individual dislocations that are spread throughout the undeformed microstructure become active and emit avalanches of creep dislocations in boundary-free regions, i.e. regions farther than a few micrometer away from boundaries. Upon their activation, the density of creep dislocations in boundary-free regions soars by two orders of magnitude; and the entire microstructure becomes deluged with creep dislocations. The total area of boundary-free regions is several times the total area of regions covered by boundary-originated creep dislocations. Therefore, the main sources of creep dislocations are not low-angle boundaries but individual, isolated dislocations in boundary-free regions.

 

 

Acta Mat. 2011, 59, p. 364