Transient Liquid Phase Bonding of a Third Generation Gamma-Titanium Aluminum Alloy - Gamma Met PX
Type of DegreeDissertation
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The research work presented here discusses transient liquid phase (TLP) bonding of a current (i.e. third) generation gamma-TiAl alloy known as Gamma Met PX (GMPX). Effective implementation of GMPX in service is likely to require fabrication of complicated geometries for which a high performance metallurgical joining technique must be developed. Although a number of joining processes have been investigated, all have significant disadvantages that limit their ability to achieve sound joints. TLP bonding has proved to be a successful method of producing joints with microstructures and compositions similar to that of the bulk substrates. Hence, bonds with parent-like mechanical and oxidation properties are possible. The interlayer and bonding conditions employed for joining of GMPX were based on successful wide-gap TLP joining trials of an earlier generation cast gamma-TiAl alloy with a composition of Ti-48Al-2Cr-2Nb in atomic percent (abbreviated here to 48-2-2). A composite interlayer consisting of a 6:1 weight ratio (7 vol.% copper) of gas atomized 48-2-2 powders (-270 mesh) and pure copper powders (-325 mesh) was employed. When applied to GMPX, these interlayer ratio and bonding conditions produced undesirable microstructures and poor mechanical performance in as-bonded joints. Thus, modifications to the joining technique were required. Initially these modifications were based purely on empirical and phenomenological studies, however, detailed mechanistic studies of the underlying joining mechanisms were conducted to aid in selecting these modifications. Mechanisms such as diffusion, solubility and wettability of copper in/on GMPX and 48-2-2 bulk substrates were investigated and compared. A difference in solubility of copper in GMPX and 48-2-2 bulk substrates was attributed to (at least in part) to the observed differences in GMPX and 48-2-2 bonds. The copper solubility, at the bonding temperature, in the 48-2-2 and GMPX alloys was determined to be ~2 atomic percent and ~1 atomic percent respectively. To compensate for the lower copper solubility in GMPX, the copper content of the composite interlayer employed in GMPX bonds was reduced was reduced from an initial ratio of 6:1 to 50:1. GMPX TLP bonds employing a 50:1 weight ratio (1 vol.% copper) of Gamma Met plus copper powders produced joints with a microstructure and room temperature mechanical properties somewhat comparable to the bulk material after bonding. A subsequent post-bond heat treatment produced a bond-line with a microstructure and room temperature mechanical properties similar to those of the bulk material subjected to the same thermal cycle.