Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 1288–1302 | Cite as

Mechanism for Formation of Surface Scale during Directional Solidification of Ni-Base Superalloys

  • G. Brewster
  • N. D’Souza
  • K. S. Ryder
  • S. Simmonds
  • H. B. Dong


Surface scale occurs on the external surface of directionally solidified, single-crystal turbine components. It is one of the most important casting defects because it affects the grain orientation assessment and causes incipient surface melting during heat treatment. The formation of surface scale comprises a three-stage process: (1) formation of a 0.5- to 1.5-μm Al2O3 layer around the external surface of liquid metal as a result of the mold/metal reaction between the liquid and the mold prime coat; (2) separation of the solidified metal from the mold wall during cooling, where the Al2O3 layer is stripped away from the metal surface but remains adhered to the mold; and (3) subsequent oxidation of the “bare” metal to form an oxide scale at the surface. The scale comprises a mixture of oxides. It is found that TiO2, Cr2O3, and Al2O3 form on components cast using the 1st generation alloy, SRR99; however, in the case of castings using the 3rd-generation alloy, CMSX10N it is a predominately nickel-rich oxide (likely to be NiO). On the unscaled surface, the mold and metal are in intimate contact during casting, and subsequent cooling and the Al2O3 layer around the external surface prevents subsequent oxidation of the casting surface.


Mold Turbine Blade Mold Wall Metal Reaction ZrSiO4 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank the STFC for access to XPS facility at NCESS, Daresbury Laboratory (RG679 and RG670) and Dr. Gary Critchlow at Department of Materials, University of Loughborough. K.S.R. wishes to thank the Royal Society for funding under the Industry Fellowship scheme (grant IF090090).


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Brewster
    • 1
  • N. D’Souza
    • 1
  • K. S. Ryder
    • 2
  • S. Simmonds
    • 3
  • H. B. Dong
    • 3
  1. 1.Rolls-Royce plcDerbyUK
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  3. 3.Department of EngineeringUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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