Ambient to high temperature fracture toughness and fatigue-crack propagation behavior in a Mo-12Si-8.5B (at.%) intermetallic

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-329
Journal / PublicationIntermetallics
Issue number4
Online published13 Apr 2001
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes


Boron-containing molybdenum silicides have been the focus of significant research of late due to their potentially superior low-temperature "pest" resistance and high-temperature oxidation resistance comparable to that of MoSi2-based silicides; however, like many ordered intermetallics, they are plagued by poor ductility and toughness properties. Of the various multiphase Mo-Si-B intermetallic systems available, alloys with compositions of Mo-12Si-8.5B (at.%), which contain Mo, Mo3Si, and T2 phases, are anticipated to have higher toughnesses because of the presence of the relatively ductile Mo phase. In this study, we examine the ambient to high (1300°C) temperature fracture toughness (R-curve) and fatigue-crack growth characteristics of Mo-12Si-8.5B, with the objective of discerning the salient mechanisms governing crack growth. It is found that this alloy displays a relatively high intrinsic (crack-initiation) toughness at 800 up to 1200°C (∼10 MPa√m), but only limited extrinsic R-curve (crack-growth) toughness. Although the lack of extrinsic toughening mechanisms is not necessarily beneficial to quasi-static properties, it does imply in a brittle material that it should show only minimal susceptibility to premature failure by fatigue, as is indeed observed at temperatures from ambient to 1300°C. Of particular significance is that both the fracture toughness and the threshold stress intensity for fatigue are increased with increasing temperature over this range. This remarkable property is related to a variety of toughening mechanisms that become active at elevated temperatures, specifically involving crack trapping by the α-Mo phase and extensive microcracking primarily in the Mo5SiB2 phase.

Research Area(s)

  • Intermetallics miscellaneous, Fracture toughness