The Structure of the γ’-Phase in Nickel-Base Superalloys

  • S. Rosen
  • P. G. Sprang


Present day nickel-base superalloys are hardened in part by the precipitation of a phase which has variously been identified as Ni3Al, Ni3(Al, Ti) and γ’. X-ray diffraction techniques which include precision lattice parameter measurements, intensity measurements, and phase identification are used to define the structural and chemical relationships upon which this phase is based.

These relationships are developed from the following considerations: crystal chemistry and atomic size factors which relate binary Cu3Au-type T 3 B phases (e.g., Ni3Al) and ternary Perovskite-type T 3 BC x : carbide phases (e.g., Y3AIC), the determination of the number and kind of atoms in the unit cell of NisAl and certain ternary phases, the crystallographic relationship between the structure of Y3C and Y3A1C, and phase relations in certain quarternary alloys.

From these considerations it is shown that the γ’ phase may best be characterized as a Perovskite-type carbide phase having the chemical formula T 3 BC x . A model of the γ’ structure is presented which indicates the position of the various atomic constituents based upon whether they are T or B elements. (An atomic component is considered of the T type if it is capable of substituting for nickel in Ni3Al, of the B type if it can replace the aluminum. The essential features of this model are: T and B elements form an ordered T 3 B lattice of the CusAu type; carbon atoms are located only in octahedral holes in the centers of the CusAu-type cells thereby establishing Perovskite-type T 3 BCx unit cells; the effective size of T and B atoms in the T 3 BCx unit cell is the same: hyperstoichiometric alloys, (ratio of B atoms to T atoms greater than one) will contain B atoms at face-centered positions in addition to a small amount of equilibrium vacant sites; in all alloys aluminum will preferentially occupy the cube corners of the unit cell; the amount of carbon which is soluble in T 3 BCx at any particular temperature is determined both by the distribution of the elements which are carbide-formers and the elements manganese, iron and cobalt. This model accounts for microstructural changes which occur in some nickel-base superalloys as a function of temperature and composition.


Carbide Phase Aluminum Atom Nickel Atom Cube Corner Yttrium Atom 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    H. H. Stadelmaier, “Ternary Compounds of Transition Metals, B-Metals and Metalloids,” Z. Metallk. 52: 758–762, 1961.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. Rosen and P. G. Sprang, “Ternary Carbide Phases Formed by Scandium-Group Elements with Aluminum and Carbon,” in: W. M. Mueller, G. R. Mallett, and M. J. Fay (eds.), Advances in X-Ray Analysis, Vol. 8, Plenum Press, New York, 1965, pp. 91–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. W. Guard and J. H. Westbrook, “Alloying Behavior of NisAl (y-Phase),” Trans. AIME 215: 807–814, 1959.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. J. Bradley and A. Taylor, “X-Ray Analysis of the Nickel-Aluminum System,” Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) Ser. A 159: 56–72, 1937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. P. Arbuzov and I. A. Zelenkov, “Structure of Ni3A1 Alloys with Additions of a Third Element,” Fiz. Metal. i Metalloved. 15 (5): 726–728, 1963.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    S. Rosen and P. G. Sprang, Trans. AIME,To be published.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    F. H. Spedding, K. A. Gschneidner, Jr., and A. H. Daane, “The Crystal Structures of some of the Rare Earth Carbides,” Amer. Chem. Soc. 80: 4499–4503, 1958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    H. Novotny, in: Paul A. Beck (ed.), Electronic Structure and Alloy Chemistry of the Transition Elements, Interscience Publishers, Inc., New York, 1963, p. 189.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. Von Philipsborn and F. Laves, “The Influence of Impurities on the Formation of the CusAu-Type Structure from the CraSi-Type Structure,” Acta Cryst. 17: 213–214, 1964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    J. H. Westbrook, “Defect Structure and the Temperature Dependence of Hardness of an Intermetallic Compound,” J. Electrochem. Soc. 104: 369–373, 1957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Hansen, “Constitution of Binary Alloys,” McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1958, pp. 349–374.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    B. J. Piercey, Private communication.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    S. T. Wlodek, “The Structure of IN-100,” Trans. Am. Soc. Metals 57: 110–119, 1964.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    J. F. Radavich and W. H. Couts, Jr., “Effect of Temperature Exposure on the Microstructure of 4.5 AI-3.5 Ti Nickel-Base Alloy,” Am. Soc. Metals, Trans. Quart. 54: 591–597, 1961.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Rosen
    • 1
  • P. G. Sprang
    • 1
  1. 1.Pratt and Whitney AircraftNorth HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations