Journal article

Helium embrittlement of a lamellar titanium aluminide

Embrittlement by helium was investigated in a lamellar TiAl alloy under two conditions: Specimens were implanted to various amounts of helium up to 762 appm at temperatures from 630 °C to 1000 °C and some of them subsequently creep-tested at the same temperature under stresses from 150 to 300 MPa. The microstructure and fracture surfaces of creep-deformed and non-creep-deformed specimens were then studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. Specimens were implanted to various amounts of helium at a low temperature (150 °C) and post-implantation annealed at elevated temperatures for TEM studies. Embrittlement was revealed by reduction in time- and strain-to-rupture and by a transition in fracture surface from ductile to an inter-lamellar appearance. Embrittlement occurred above a critical He concentration, which decreased from about 10 appm at 700 °C to below 6 appm at 900 °C. TEM showed that embrittlement could be associated to reaching a critical bubble diameter of about 5 nm. Bubble diameters increased with increasing temperature ranging in high-temperature implanted specimens from about 3 nm (630 °C) to 20 nm (1000 °C) and in post-implantation annealed ones from 1.2 nm (600 °C) to 2.2 nm (900 °C), respectively. With increasing temperature, the bubble distribution grew less homogenous with a lower density of larger bubbles situated preferentially at interfaces and sinks. This was ascribed to a change in bubble nucleation mode from homogeneous di-atomic nucleation at lower temperatures to multi-atomic nucleation at sinks at higher temperature. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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