The Microstructure of RR1000 Nickel-Base Superalloy: The FIB-SEM Dual-Beam Approach
Nickel-base superalloys are aerospace materials that exhibit exceptional mechanical properties and corrosion resistance at very high temperatures. RR1000 is used in discs in gas turbine engines, where temperatures reach in excess of 650°C with high mechanical stresses. Study of the microstructure at the micron and sub-micron level has conventionally been undertaken using scanning electron microscope images, often meaning the underlying 3D microstructure can be inferred only with additional knowledge. Using a dual-beam workstation, we are able to interrogate directly the 3D microstructure using a serial sectioning approach. The 3D data set, typically (10µm)3 in volume, reveals microstructural detail with lateral resolution of circa 8nm and a depth resolution dictated by the slice thickness, typically 50nm. Morphological and volumetric analysis of the 3D reconstruction of RR1000 superalloy reveals microstructural details hitherto unseen.
KeywordsFIB-SEM Superalloy 3D Serial Sectioning
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