Elevated-temperature environmental embrittlement and alloy design of L12 ordered intermetallics

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-547
Journal / PublicationMaterials Science and Engineering A
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 1992
Externally publishedYes


Title2nd International ASM Conference on High Temperature Aluminides and Intermetallics
PlaceUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period16 - 19 September 1991


Ordered intermetallic alloys with L12 crystal structure such as Ni3Al and Ni3Si exhibit environmental embrittlement with much lower ductilities in air than in vacuum when being tested at elevated temperatures. The environmental embrittlement is sensitive to test temperature, alloy composition and grain geometry. The embrittling behavior at elevated temperatures is a dynamic phenomenon, i.e. gaseous oxygen in test environments is chemically absorbed at the tip of cracks induced on alloy surfaces by deformation and then drives into the metal along grain boundaries, leading to a reduction of the grain boundary cohesion. The embrittlement can be alleviated by formation of protective oxide films on alloy surfaces, control of grain shape or addition of beneficial elements such as chromium. In contrast, ordered inter-metallics based on b.c.c. crystal structures such as FeAl(B2) and Fe3Al(D03) do not show environmental embrittlement at elevated temperatures. The embrittling behavior as well as alloy design to alleviate the embrittlement is discussed in this paper.

Bibliographic Note

The publication is also published in "High Temperature Aluminides and Intermetallics: Proceedings of the Second International ASM Conference on High Temperature ...".