Unveiling the Re effect in Ni-based single crystal superalloys

Wu, X. and Makineni, S.K. and Liebscher, C.H. and Dehm, G. and Rezaei Mianroodi, J. and Shanthraj, P. and Svendsen, B. and Bürger, D. and Eggeler, G. and Raabe, D. and Gault, B.

Volume: 11 Pages:
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-14062-9
Published: 2020

Single crystal Ni-based superalloys have long been an essential material for gas turbines in aero engines and power plants due to their outstanding high temperature creep, fatigue and oxidation resistance. A turning point was the addition of only 3 wt.% Re in the second generation of single crystal Ni-based superalloys which almost doubled the creep lifetime. Despite the significance of this improvement, the mechanisms underlying the so-called “Re effect” have remained controversial. Here, we provide direct evidence of Re enrichment to crystalline defects formed during creep deformation, using combined transmission electron microscopy, atom probe tomography and phase field modelling. We reveal that Re enriches to partial dislocations and imposes a drag effect on dislocation movement, thus reducing the creep strain rate and thereby improving creep properties. These insights can guide design of better superalloys, a quest which is key to reducing CO2 emissions in air-traffic. © 2020, The Author(s).

« back