The Application of Differential Scanning Calorimetry to Investigate Precipitation Behavior in Nickel-Base Superalloys Under Continuous Cooling and Heating Conditions

Semiatin, S. L.; Levkulich, N. C.; Larsen, R.; Tiley, J. S.; Wertz, K. N.; Zhang, F.; Smith, T. M.; Zhang, R.Y.; Dong, H. B.; Gadaud, P. and Cormier, J. (2021). The Application of Differential Scanning Calorimetry to Investigate Precipitation Behavior in Nickel-Base Superalloys Under Continuous Cooling and Heating Conditions. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 52(9) pp. 3706–3726.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11661-021-06362-x

Abstract

A suite of experimental tools and fast-acting, numerical-simulation techniques was used to quantify the precipitation behavior of three nickel-base superalloys: IN-100, LSHR, and 718. Experimental methods comprised differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to establish the specific heat as a function of temperature and selected direct-resistance heating trials (using a Gleeble® machine) to obtain samples for microstructural analysis. For the DSC experiments, each alloy was cooled at a prescribed constant rate (between 5 and 20 K/min) after an initial soak/equilibration in the high-temperature, single-phase (supersolvus) temperature regime. On-heating DSC trials beginning at ambient temperature were also performed on alloy 718 in three different starting conditions: super-δ-solvus solution treated and water quenched (denoted as ST), solution treated and aged (STA), and solution treated and overaged (STOA). DSC results, revealing the thermal signatures associated with the kinetics of precipitation of γ′ (IN-100, LSHR) or γ′ and γ″ (718), were interpreted using a previously-developed fast-acting routine that treats concurrent nucleation, growth, coarsening, and dissolution. For these simulations, special attention was paid to various thermo-kinetic input parameters including equilibrium solvus-approach curves, bulk free energies of transformation, matrix-precipitate interface energies, and effective diffusivities. For the γ-γ′ superalloys (IN-100 and LSHR), estimates of precipitate volume fraction as a function of temperature from the specific-heat data revealed semi-quantitative agreement with simulation predictions. For the γ-γ′-γ″ superalloy (718), simulation predictions of precipitate volume fractions were converted to specific heat as a function of temperature and showed semi-quantitative agreement with the direct measurements.

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