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Acta Metall Sin  2020, Vol. 56 Issue (2): 161-170    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2019.00193
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Influence of W Content on the Microstructure of Nickel Base Superalloy with High W Content
HUA Hanyu1,2,XIE Jun1(),SHU Delong1,HOU Guichen1,Naicheng SHENG1,YU Jinjiang1,CUI Chuanyong1,SUN Xiaofeng1,ZHOU Yizhou1
1. Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
2. School of Metallurgy, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
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Nickel base superalloys are widely used in the preparation of hot end parts for aircraft engines because of their good comprehensive mechanical properties, oxidation resistance and structural stability. It's strengthened mainly by solid solution strengthening, γ' phase strengthening and carbide strengthening. High alloying is one of the main methods to improve the solid solution strengthening level of nickel base superalloys, where the element W is an efficient alloying element with low price. The control of the W content is extremely important for high W content nickel base superalloys. However, there are few reports on the influence of W content on the microstructure of high W alloy. According to this background, by means of OM, SEM observation and XRD analysis, the influence of W content on the solidified microstructure in nickel base superalloy have been investigated in this work. Results show that when the W content is about 14% (mass fraction, the same below), there is no α-W phase being precipitated in the alloy. While as the content of W is higher than 16%, α-W could be precipitated during the solidification. On another hand, the grain size of the alloy decreases from 1.04 mm to 0.17 mm and the volume fraction of eutectic increases from 6% to 10% with the increase of the W content. While the content of W has no obvious effect on the sizes and morphologies of γ' phase in the dendrite and inter-dendrite areas. During solidification, the α-W phase will be first precipitated due to its higher precipitation temperature, and the shrinkage of the residual liquid phase may cause the shift and growth of the α-W to the core of the liquid phase. The α-W could be as the core of the heterogeneous nucleation to reduce the critical nucleation energy, which is the main reason that the grain size of the 18%W alloy is smaller. During the growth of the dendrites with various orientations, the concentration of Al and Ti in the residual liquid phase may have a higher concentration gradient to cause the occurrence of eutectic transformation, which is the main reason that there is a higher volume fraction of eutectic in 18%W alloy.

Key words:  high W nickel base alloy      α-W      grain size      eutectic     
Received:  13 June 2019     
ZTFLH:  TG113.12  
Fund: National Natural Science Foundation of China(51701212);National Natural Science Foundation of China(51571196);National Natural Science Foundation of China(51771191)
Corresponding Authors:  Jun XIE     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

HUA Hanyu,XIE Jun,SHU Delong,HOU Guichen,Naicheng SHENG,YU Jinjiang,CUI Chuanyong,SUN Xiaofeng,ZHOU Yizhou. Influence of W Content on the Microstructure of Nickel Base Superalloy with High W Content. Acta Metall Sin, 2020, 56(2): 161-170.

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Table 1  Nominal chemical compositions of nickel base superalloys (mass fraction / %)
Fig.1  XRD spectra of nickel base superalloys with various W contents
Fig.2  OM images of the nickel base superalloys with various W contents of 14%W (a), 16%W (b) and 18%W (c)
Fig.3  Grain size distributions of the nickel base superalloys with various W contents of 14%W (a), 16%W (b) and 18%W (c) (f(D)—number percentage of grains with grain size D)
Fig.4  EBSD images showing the grain boundaries in nickel base superalloys with various W contents of 14%W (a), 16%W (b) and 18%W (c)
Fig.5  SEM images of γ' phase in dendrite arm (a~c) and inter-dendritic area (d~f) in nickel base superalloys with various W contents of 14%W (a, d), 16%W (b, e) and 18%W (c, f)
Fig.6  SEM images of inter-dendritic/dendrite arm area in nickel base superalloys with various W contents of 14%W (a), 16%W (b) and 18%W (c)
AlloyAverage size / μm2Average area ratio / %
Table 2  Average sizes and average area ratios of eutectic in nickel base superalloys with various W contents
Fig.7  SEM-BSE images of carbide in the nickel base superalloy containing 16%W(a) M6C (b) MC
Fig.8  SEM-SE (a) and SEM-BSE (b) images of α-W in the nickel base superalloy containing 16%W
Fig.9  SEM-SE (a) and SEM-BSE (b) images of α-W in the nickel base superalloy containing 18%W showing α-W inside the grain in area I and α-W along grain boundary in area II
Fig.10  SEM images of α-W in the inter-dendrite (a) and dendritic arm (b) in the nickel base superalloy containing 18%W
Fig.11  DTA cooling curves of the nickel base superalloys with various W contents of 14%W (a), 16%W (b) and 18%W (c) (Tdendritic, TMC, Teutectic, Tγ and Tγ' indicate dendritic, MC, eutectic, γ and γ' phase transition temperatures, respectively)
Fig.12  Schematics of the distribution changing of α-W during solidification in the 18%W alloy (The blank area is liquid phase in Figs.12a and b, while it is inter-dendrite region in Fig.12c)(a) α-W precipitation(b) α-W in the liquid phase shifts toward the core(c) α-W distribution in the late solidification stage
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