Journal article

Numerical Simulation of Solidification, Homogenization, and Precipitation in an Industrial Ni-Based Superalloy

A comprehensive simulation approach integrating solidification, homogenization, and precipitation during aging has been used to predict the formation of gamma/gamma' microstructures in the AM1 nickel-based superalloy. The particle size distribution of intradendritic gamma' precipitates after aging was calculated with a multicomponent diffusion model coupled with CALPHAD thermodynamics for the equilibrium at the interface. The influence of residual microsegregation after homogenization and quenching was analyzed through different initial conditions obtained from calculations of the concentration profiles in the primary gamma dendritic microstructure during solidification and the homogenization heat treatment. While the global sequence of precipitation remains qualitatively the same, substantial differences in the final volume fraction of gamma' precipitates were predicted between the core and the periphery of a former dendrite arm, for typical homogenization and aging conditions. To demonstrate the relevance of the developed simulation approach, the model was also used to investigate modified precipitation heat treatments. The simulations showed that relatively short heat treatments based on slow continuous cooling could potentially replace the extended isothermal heat treatments which are commonly used. Slow continuous cooling conditions can lead to similar gamma' precipitates radii and volume fractions, the main differences with isothermal heat treatments lying in a narrower particle size distribution.


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