Thermal aging effects on the microstructure and short-term oxidation behavior of a cast Ni3Al alloy Academic Article uri icon


  • Specimens of the castable nickel aluminide alloy IC221M were annealed in still air at 900C to examine the effects of oxidation and thermal aging on its microstructure. The alloy, which is comprised primarily of a - mixture but also contains a lower melting +Ni 5 Zr eutectic, is used in applications that require casting. The as-cast microstructure is dendritic and exhibits microsegregation of the alloying elements. Microstructures of as-cast specimens annealed for periods up to 16,600 h were examined using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy with spectrum imaging. Although the material partially homogenizes with aging time, approximately 3 vol% of the +Ni 5 Zr eutectic remains after 16,600 h, and there is a tendency for the eutectic colonies to spherodize. Oxidation products were identified using X-ray diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. During the initial stages of oxidation, the oxide is predominantly NiO with small amounts of Cr 2 O 3 , ZrO 2 , NiCr 2 O 4 , and -Al 2 O 3 . Initial oxidation occurs primarily in the interdendritic regions of the microstructure. With further aging, the predominant surface oxides become NiO and NiAl 2 O 4 , with a continuous film of -Al 2 O 3 forming immediately beneath them. Although these oxides are constrained to the near surface region, other oxides penetrate to depths greater than 10 times that of the continuous surface oxide, facilitated by oxidation of the +Ni 5 Zr interdendritic eutectic. These oxides appear in the microstructure as long, thin spikes of ZrO 2 surrounded by a sheath of Al 2 O 3 . 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Intermetallics

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, D., Santella, M. L., Anderson, I. M., & Pharr, G. M.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Dongyun||Santella, ML||Anderson, IM||Pharr, GM

publication date

  • February 2005