The effect of Ru on precipitation of topologically close packed phases in Re – containing Ni base superalloys: Quantitative FIB-SEM investigation and 3D image modeling
Institute of Science and Technology of Metals WTM, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg FAU, Martensstr. 5, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
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A new approach to clarify the ruthenium effect on the precipitation of topologically close packed (TCP) phases is described in the paper. It is based on focused ion beam – scanning electron microscopy (FIB – SEM) dual beam methodology as well as three-dimensional imaging. The high-temperature capabilities of nickel base superalloys can be improved by alloying with refractory elements. With excessive refractory element content or excessive exposure to high temperature, brittle TCP phases precipitate resulting in a drop of strength. The undesirable phase transformation can be suppressed by addition of ruthenium. Although the effect is well known, its real mechanism remains open. In the present paper, the volume fraction and particle density, as well as the exact three-dimensional morphology of TCP phases as measured by FIB-SEM will be presented. The effect of ruthenium content and time of exposure is studied quantitatively. The results show that increased Ru additions slow down all stages of phase transformation and also reduce the equilibrium TCP volume fraction. The Ru effect might be due to either reduced driving force for precipitation or reduced interfacial energy.
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