Microstructure – Mechanical Property Relationships in Transient Liquid Phase Bonded Nickel-Based Superalloys and Iron-based ODS Alloys
Type of DegreeDissertation
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The research work presented here discusses the microstructure-mechanical property relationships in wide gap transient liquid phase (TLP) bonds, between the single crystal nickel-base superalloy CMSX-4 and two polycrystalline superalloys, IN 738 and IN 939, using wide-gap style composite interlayers. Fabrication of complicated geometries and successful repair development of gas turbine engine components made of superalloys requires a high performance metallurgical joining technique and a complete understanding of microstructure-mechanical property relationships. A number of joining processes have been investigated, but all of them have significant disadvantages that limit their ability to produce sound joints. TLP bonding has proved to be a successful method and is the most preferred joining method for nickel-based superalloys, with microstructures and compositions of the joint similar to that of the bulk substrates resulting in mechanical properties close to that of the parent metal. The current joining process used two proprietary wide-gap style composite interlayers, Niflex-110 and Niflex-115, consisting of a nickel-based core with boron-rich surfaces, and a conventional rapidly solidified metallic glass foil interlayer BNi-3 was chosen for comparison. When composite interlayers were employed, competition between wetting of the faying surfaces and formation of the eutectic along the grain boundaries was observed to lead to non-bonded regions at the faying surfaces, unless a boron-rich interlayer was employed. Composite interlayers resulted in the suppression of bondline boride formation. With the exception of this competition, adequate wetting of the substrates occurred for all interlayers. Two factors dominated the room temperature mechanical properties of the wide-gap bonds. The first was the extent of gamma-prime formation at the bondline. Results from shear testing and fractography of the bonds indicated ductile shear failure at the bondline. This was due to the formation of insufficient gamma-prime within the joint, which left a relatively soft bondline region. The second factor was the presence of second phases in the diffusion zone of the polycrystalline substrate. This led to the formation of brittle secondary cracks. Overall, it is evident that the room temperature shear strength of the bonds was more dependent on the extent of formation of ?’ on the bondline than on the secondary phases in the diffusion zone of the polycrystalline substrate.