, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1751-1761

High-temperature low-cycle fatigue behavior of a NIMONIC PE-16 superalloy—Correlation with deformation and fracture

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Abstract

Low-cycle fatigue (LCF) responses of NIMONIC PE-16 for various prior microstructures and strain amplitudes have been evaluated and the fatigue behavior has been explained in terms of the operative deformation mechanisms. Total strain-controlled LCF tests were performed at 923 K on samples possessing three different prior microstructures: alloy A in solution-annealed condition (free of γ and carbides), alloy B with double aging treatment (spherical γ of 18-nm diameter and M23C6), and alloy C with another double aging treatment (γ of size 35 nm, MC and M23C6). All three microstructures exhibited an intial cyclic hardening followed by a period of gradual softening at 923 K. Coffin-Manson plots describing the plastic strain amplitudevs number of reversals to failure showed that alloy A had maximum fatigue life while C showed the least. Alloy B exhibited a two-slope behavior in the Coffin-Manson plot over the strain amplitudes investigated. This has been ascribed to the change in the degree of homogeneity of deformation at high and low strain amplitudes. Transmission electron microscopic studies were carried out to characterize the various deformation mechanisms and precipitation reactions occurring during fatigue testign. Fresh precipitation of fine γ was confirmed by the development of “mottled contrast” in alloy C. Evidence for the shearing of the ordered γ precipitates was revealed by the presence of superdislocations in alloy C. Repeated shearing during cyclic loading led to the reduction in the size of the γ and consequent softening. Coarser γ precipitates were associated with Orowan loops. The observed fatigue behavior has been rationalized based on the micromechanisms stated above and on the degree of homogenization of slip assessed by slipband spacing measurements on tested samples.