Abstract

In this study, the microstructure and solidus and liquidus of several Ni-Co-Hf-Zr-Ti-Al braze alloys were first examined with the objective to develop a B- and Si-free low-melting braze alloy for narrow gap (NGB) and wide gap brazing (WGB) and turbine component repair applications. Among various alloys examined, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to measure the solidus and liquidus during heating and cooling cycles. Following the measurements of liquidus and solidus, the microstructure was evaluated using SEM. Equations for calculating solidus and liquidus based on alloy's compositions were established, and the functions of each elements on these two characteristic temperatures were discussed. One selected alloy with a liquidus of 1201 °C was further employed for NGB and WGB experiments. The results showed that it was able join Cannon Muskegon single crystal (CMSX)-4 at 1240 °C without interfacial voids, and with the use of externally applied pressure and extended homogenization treatment, the interfacial intermetallic compounds were substantially removed. Furthermore, the same braze alloy was used to fill a large artificial cavity in a WGB scheme at a reduced temperature of 1200 °C. The braze alloy was able to fully bond the filler powder alloy in addition to join the two alloys to an IN 738 substrate. Finally, oxidation test was conducted at 1050 °C (isothermal in static air) for 100 h after NGB of CMSX-4 and WGB of IN 738. The results showed that the oxide formed on the standalone braze alloy is very dense and there is no sign of spallation. It contained primarily NiO (+CoO) with no other elements measured. For the NGB joints, large amount of scale spallation was observed on base alloy CMSX-4 while the NGB joint remained spallation free. The oxide formed on the NGB was NiO with partitions of Co, Al, Ti, Cr, and W. The WGB joint region in IN 738 showed oxide scale spallation on the IN 738 substrate side, leaving behind steps and depression on the sample surface. In the WGB joint itself, there were three notable phases after oxidation test; however, no scale spallation could be found. For the majority part of the surface, a Ni-rich oxide covered the surface. There were areas of smaller oxide particles with higher Cr content. Overall, the new boron/silicon-free braze alloy was found to be able to join several superalloys in both WGB and NGB schemes without occurrence of defects and the oxidation resistance was superior to both substrate alloys examined in this study.

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