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Microstructural characterisation of inertia friction welded RR1000 superalloy

Oluwasegun, Kunle Michael (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The need for jet engines to burn fuel more effectively at higher temperatures requires the development of nickel-based superalloys containing increasing amounts of the main strengthening, stable, ordered L1\(_2\) intermetallic (Ni\(_3\)(Al, Ti)) \( \gamma\)' phase, with RR1000 being a candidate. Welding of this alloy by conventional methods has been found difficult due to a high susceptibility to heat affected zone (HAZ) liquation cracking. In order to produce welds with good joint integrity, inertia friction welding (IFW), a nominally solid state welding process, has been used to join gas turbine parts made from this alloy, based on the premise that the joining occurs below the melting point of the bulk material. The failure rate, however, is not zero. Detailed microstructural characterisation of the actual weld and of a thermo-mechanically simulated HAZ has revealed for the first time that non-equilibrium constitutional liquation of some strengthening precipitates occurs at the grain boundaries and within the grains of this alloy during IFW, with attendant formation of liquation microvoids within the HAZ. The temperature gradient across the HAZ is predicted to be 1150 \(^o\)C-1286 \(^o\)C. Hafnium-rich oxides were also found to coalesce and become smeared by friction along the weld interface, forming brittle hafnium oxide flakes. However, IFW has been found to be more effective than conventional welding techniques, always producing liquation crack-free welds within 150 \( \mu\)m of the bond line (not common in conventionally welded alloys). Micro tensile testing was used to characterise the local strength within the weld and to rationalise it with the microstructure.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Jones, Ian P. and Chiu, Yu-Lung
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:Department of Metallurgy and Materials, School of Engineering
Subjects:TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
TS Manufactures
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3496
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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