Microstructural Evolution and Phase Formation in Rapidly Solidified Ni-25.3 At. Pct Si Alloy

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Cao, L ; Cochrane, RF ; Mullis, AM (2015)
  • Publisher: Springer Verlag

The drop-tube technique was used to solidify droplets of the Ni-25.3 at. pct Si alloy at high cooling rates. XRD, SEM, and TEM analysis revealed that the metastable phase, Ni25Si9, formed as the dominant phase in all ranges of the droplets, with γ-Ni31Si12 and β 1-Ni3Si also being present. Three different microstructures were observed: the regular and anomalous eutectic structures and near single-phase structure containing small inclusions of a second phase, termed here as heteroclite structure. Both eutectic structures comprise alternating lamellae of Ni25Si9 and β 1-Ni3Si, which, we conjecture, is a consequence of an unobserved eutectic reaction between the Ni25Si9 and β 1-Ni3Si phases. The matrix of the heteroclite structure is also identified as the metastable phase Ni25Si9, in which twined growth is observed in the TEM. As the cooling rate is increased (particle size decreased), the proportion of droplets displaying the entire heteroclite structure tends to increase, with its fraction increasing from 13.91 pct (300 to 500 µm) to 40.10 pct (75 to 106 µm). The thermodynamic properties of the Ni25Si9 phase were also studied by in-situ heating during XRD analysis and by DTA. This showed the decomposition of Ni25Si9 to β 1 and γ-Ni31Si12 for temperatures in excess of 790 K (517 °C).
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