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Progress in joining of advanced materials

G. C;am and M. K09ak

Advanced materials generally require novel joining techniques. Developments in new materials research should be conducted hand in hand with work on weldability and joining capacity aspects. Sound joint quality for any new material has always been considered a milestone in a research and development scheme for a new material, particularly in terms of widespread applications. Better understanding of the microstructure-mechanical properties relationships of the bonded or welded joints will feed back to the materials development activities both in conventional and new materials areas. The two joining processes diffusion bonding and laser welding are considered in this literature review, since these processes are capable of joining a wide range of materials of interest in the aerospace industry, as well as in many other industrial applications, and offer remarkable advantages over conventional fusion welding processes. Of particular interest is the ability to join the more difficult aerospace alloys with minimal component distortion and high reproducibility of joint quality. The purpose of the review is to outline progress made in this area and to make suggestions for future work. Coverage includes solid state joining, fusion joining, joining of intermetallics, joining of metal matrix composites, and joining of other advanced materials. IMR/320
1998 The Institute of Materials and ASM International. The authors are at the GKSS Research Center, Institute of Materials Research, D-21502 Geesthacht, Germany.

Introduction
The joining of any material with another has always been a necessity in engineering applications. Welding or bonding of two materials almost always causes changes or deterioration of the microstructural and mechanical properties of the original materials in the joining region. Joining of two different materials (dissimilar joints) leads to a much more complicated situation where each material's own properties should be taken into account during the joining process and later during joint quality determination. New or advanced materials generally require novel joining techniques. Therefore, developments in new structural materials research should be conducted in parallel with research into weldability and joining capacity aspects. Sound joint quality of any new material has always been considered a milestone in a research and development scheme, particularly in terms of widespread applications. Various aspects of the similar and dissimilar joints of advanced materials made by laser welding, diffusion bonding, high vacuum-high temperature brazing, electron beam welding, or other conventional materials joining technologies still require a vast amount of research and development supported by the knowl-

edge gained over many years of work on conventional materials. It is obvious that a better understanding of the microstructure-mechanical properties relationships of bonded or welded joints will feed back to the materials development and optimisation activities both in conventional and new materials areas. The topic of weldability and extensive characterisation (microstructural and fracture mechanics) of the welded/bonded joints of some advanced materials is a promising applied research and development area which may attract considerable industrial interest if the industrial research projects are organised in a product oriented fashion and conducted with sufficient expertise. Weldability aspects of some advanced materials still require further research and development. Such materials include: (i) titanium aluminide intermetallics (ii) Ni3 Al intermetallic alloys (iii) Fe3AI intermetallic alloys (iv) oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) alloys (v) metal matrix composites (MMCs) (vi) nickel based superalloys (vii) AI-Li alloys. Most of these alloys are mainly used in aerospace industry. Although the use of welding in the aerospace industry is rather limited compared with other major industries, it has gradually increased over the last 20 years as a result of the development of welding methods (e.g.laser beam welding, friction stir welding, etc.) which have a less detrimental effect on local material properties and shape (minimum distortion) than more conventional arc welding. The two joining processes diffusion bonding and laser beam welding are considered in this literature review since these processes are capable of joining a wide range of materials of interest in the aerospace industry, as well as in many other industrial applications, and offer remarkable advantages over conventional fusion welding processes. Of particular interest is the ability to join the more difficult aerospace alloys with minimal component distortion and high reproducibility of joint quality.

Solid state joining processes


Among the modern joining techniques used in engineering, solid state processes probably have the longest history and a wide spectrum of processes are now classified under the generic term 'solid state'. Solid state joining processes operate without melting of the base metal, usually by the application of high pressure. Bonding is achieved by the introduction of mechanical, electrical, or thermal energy and/or diffusion. These processes differ in the times, pressures, and temperatures used and the methods of applying heat. At one extreme, cold pressure welding requires extensive deformation but no significant heating and is, therefore, restricted to ductile materials. Other
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9am and Kor;ak

Joining of advanced materials

processes include inertia (or friction) welding and explosive welding, leading to the other extreme of diffusion bonding. Friction welding is a rather specialised process for joining a cylindrical part to a stationary section. The cylindrical unit is spun at high speed. Light contact between the parts creates heat at the interface and cleans the surfaces to be joined. Axial pressure is applied, causing the parts to rotate against each other forming the joint. The cleanliness and solid state nature of the bond make the process attractive for joining of many materials. Explosive bonding is achieved between two metallic surfaces by a directed shock wave produced by detonation of an explosive charge. While the process is often used for cladding of steel plate by conventional alloys, the process has more recently been applied to joining complex and dissimilar materials. Perhaps the latest application is the joining of tubes to tubesheets in heat exchangers. Diffusion bonding takes place when two mating surfaces are subjected to pressure at elevated temperature for an extended period. Diffusion takes place across the interface and a bond is formed. An interlayer of some rapidly diffusing element is sometimes used to decrease bonding time. The diffusion bonding process is characterised by its ability to join materials with minimal deformation and, in like materials, the absence of any identifiable bond line, which is in contrast to the results of cold pressure welding.
Diffusion bonding

(a)

(b)~

~
(C)~

(d)~

(e)~

a initial point contact and oxide contaminant layer; b large voids with thinner oxide layer after some point yielding and creep; c some voids remaining with very thin oxide layer after final yielding and creep; d oxide layer eliminated after continued vacancy diffusion leaving few small voids; e completed bonding Mechanism of diffusion bonding2

It is possible to join a wide range of materials in both like and dissimilar combinations by diffusion bonding. In addition, solid state diffusion bonding avoids in particular undesirable structural transformations, since the temperatures involved in the process are rather low. These prime advantages have led to extensive use of this method in a wide range of industries extending from the electronics and nuclear fields to manufacture of various engineering and aerospace components. Another driving force extending the use of diffusion bonding is the increasing development of novel and advanced materials, such as MMCs, intermetallics, and ceramics, where fusion processes are not generally applicable or are of limited use. Another area where diffusion bonding is finding application is the bonding of ceramics to metals. Although reports of some diffusion bonding of dissimilar material combinations have appeared in the literature, more demanding applications are expected particularly in engine parts, ranging from automotive to industrial and aeroengine components. In these applications, joints which can withstand much more severe operating conditions than previously considered will be required. The widest application area of diffusion bonding now is in the aerospace industry. It is often used in combination with superplastic forming (SPF) for the fabrication of aircraft and aerospace components.! The technique is based on the formation of a metallurgical bond between mating surfaces by diffusion controlled mechanisms, with minimal macroscopic deformation.
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

Diffusion bonding is a process in which premachined components are held under lo'ad at an elevated temperature while in a protective atmosphere. Loads which would not cause macro deformation of the parent material(s) and temperatures of 05-0'8 Tm (where Tm is the melting point in kelvin) are employed. Holding times at elevated temperature can exceed 60 min, but this depends on the material types being bonded, the joint properties required, and the remaining bonding parameters.2 Although the majority of bonding operations are performed under vacuum or in an inert gas atmosphere, certain bonds have also been produced in air.3 To form a bond it is necessary for the two metal surfaces to come into atomic contact and hence micro asperities and surface contaminants must be removed before bonding. Furthermore, the bond interface has to be protected from oxidation whether under vacuum or in inert gas. It is generally believed that solid state bonding is completed through two stages:4 (i) plastic flow disrupts the oxide film to expose the clean metallic surface and produce intimate contact (ii) bonding is established by atomic interdiffusion and recrystallisation and/or grain growth across the bond interface. The mechanism of diffusion bonding is shown schematically in Fig. 1. Diffusion bonding can be categorised into three main groups: (i) solid state diffusion bonding (ii) liquid state diffusion bonding or diffusion brazing (iii) superplastic forming-diffusion bonding (SPF-DB). This depends on the type of pressurisation, use of interlayers, and formation or not of a liquid phase. Each of these types, discussed below, finds specific

9am and Kor;ak

Joining of advanced materials

applications for a range of materials and geometries needing to be joined.


Solid state diffusion bonding

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Solid state bonding is mainly carried out under vacuum or in other protective atmospheres, such as argon, with heat being applied by radiant, induction, direct, or indirect resistance heating. Pressure can be applied either uniaxially or isostatically. In the former, a low pressure (usually 3-10 MPa) is used to avoid macrodeformation of the parts, i.e. no more than a few per cent. This type of process therefore requires a good finish on the mating surfaces since the contribution to bonding by plastic yielding is restricted. In addition, the surfaces should be as clean as is practically possible to minimise surface contamination. In hipping, much higher pressures (100-200 MPa) are used and thus surface finishes are not critical. A further advantage of this process is that the uniform gas pressurisation permits the bonding of complex geometries in contrast to the generally simple butt joints possible with uniaxial pressurisation. Where difficult materials need to be joined in the solid state (and in particular for metal to ceramic joints), it is possible to introduce single or multiple interlayers of other materials to assist in the bonding process and to modify post-bond stress distributions.
Liquid state diffusion bonding or diffusion brazing

[LCU] [\~!J

a for integrally stiffened structure; b for sandwich structure

Principle of SPF-DB technique2,5

Also known as transient liquid phase (TLP) bonding, liquid state diffusion bonding or diffusion brazing is applicable only to dissimilar material combinations or to like materials where a dissimilar metal insert is used. Solid state diffusion processes lead to a change of composition at the bond interface and the bonding temperature is selected such that the newly formed phase at the bond interface melts at this temperature. This thin layer of liquid spreads along the interface to form a joint at a temperature lower than the melting point of either of the parent metals. A reduction in bonding temperature leads to solidification of the melt and this phase can subsequently be diffused away into the parent metals by holding at the bonding temperature. The technique has been used particularly for the bonding of aluminium alloys2 where eutectics can be formed with copper, silver, or zinc to aid the breakup of the stable aluminium surface oxide.
Superplastic forming-diffusion bonding

bonding in those areas where it is not required, as shown schematically in Fig. 2. Considerable attention is being directed towards the diffusion bonding of superplastic aluminium alloys, as SPF-DB has demonstrated substantial cost and weight savings in fabricating aircraft structures. The SPF-DB process has recently become an emerging technology in aerospace industries for production of complex net shape parts made of high strength aluminium. Although aluminium SPF technology has already been developed for implementation in production, limited success in solid state bonding of aluminium, especially high strength aluminium alloy, has been reported to date. The major difficulty in solid state bonding of aluminium is the stable and tenacious surface oxide film which can not be avoided under normal manufacturing conditions. Considerable effort has therefore been directed towards methods of achieving intimate metallic contact between mating surfaces in the presence of this film and hence the adaptation of the SPF-DB technique for aluminium.

Fusion joining processes


In addition to the conventional heat sources used in fusion welding processes, namely gas flame and arc heat sources, electromagnetically accelerated particle beams, such as electron, ion, and neutral beams, and special type beams (i.e. laser and plasma beams) with large outputs have been developed over the last 30 years and are now available as heat sources for fusion welding. Power beam welding processes are generally classified as those capable of delivering an energy density greater than""" 10 kW mm -2 to the workpiece and which are thereby capable of deep 'keyhole' penetration. These processes comprise electron beam, plasma arc, and laser welding. Electron beams, which are easy to generate and offer relatively higher output, were the first high energy density beams to be commercially applied. Their most important disadvantage is the requirement
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

The SPF-DB technique was specifically developed within the aerospace industries and its industrial importance is such that it is now considered as a different diffusion bonding process. The process is used commercially for titanium and its alloys, these materials being ones that exhibit superplastic properties at elevated temperatures within defined strain rate conditions. These temperature and pressure conditions coincide with the conditions required for bonding and therefore the two processes have been combined into one manufacturing operation. The aircraft industry benefits from the ease of diffusion bonding of titanium, a material that absorbs its own oxide film at elevated temperatures. One result of this, however, is the need to introduce a stop off material (usually yttria based) to prevent

9am and Ko(}ak

Joining of advanced materials

laser beam

+
gaseous metal flow ~ plasma gas channel molten metal solidified weld bead

-4----

weld direction

Principles of laser beam

welding7

of a vacuum working chamber, since the propagation range in air is extremely short. However, it is possible to weld much thicker plates using the electron beam welding process. The plasma arc technique is the only arc welding process which is capable of achieving the energy density required for 'keyhole' penetration. In this technique, an arc is formed between a tungsten electrode and the workpiece, which is constricted and intensified by a copper nozzle surrounding the electrode, giving a plasma arc of a columnar form. The combination of high welding current and plasma gas flowrates results in deep penetration of the workpiece. The plasma arc technique is not only capable of high penetration keyhole welding, it can also be used as a low penetration weld surfacing technique. Laser welding as an advanced industrial fabrication process is about 20 years old, but the technique already offers direct competition to electron beam and the more conventional welding processes. Laser beams possess a dual handicap of high investment and low thermal efficiency, but they have the great advantages of optical manipulation (i.e. ease of working), low distortion, greater accuracy and automation, and avoid the need for a vacuum working chamber in most cases. Some further details on the laser welding process are given below.
laser beam welding process

Lasers are now attracting a great deal of interest as heat sources as a result of their potential to give extremely high energy density.6 Lasers may be classified according to their mode of operation as continuous wave (CW) or pulsed wave (PW). Early lasers capable of melting and cutting materials were of the solid state type with a pulsed output, whereas the continuous lasers did not have sufficient power output for processing the materials. However, the development of the high power CW CO2 gas lasers and the PW N d-YAG lasers in the last two decades led to the application of laser beams as a more general heat source in areas such as cutting, welding, heat treating, soldering, brazing, cladding, and hardfacing. Presently, lasers are applied to the welding of stators and rotors in generators, important gears, hot rolled silicon steel sheets, bimetallic saw blades, and tubetubesheets of stainless steel. The welding of 50 mm diameter tube-tubesheets with a 3 kW CO2 continInternational Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 No.1

uous laser can be completed in 8 s. Figure 3 is a schematic diagram of a laser beam welding operation. In laser welding, when the laser beam impinges on the metal, it delivers its heat to the surface and further penetration beneath the surface relies on thermal conduction. The metal under the laser beam evaporates and a cavity or keyhole is formed through the thickness of the workpiece. By moving this keyhole along the joint between two pieces of metal, a weld is made as shown in Fig. 4. Laser welding using a high power CO2 or pulsed Nd-YAG laser can easily weld the specimen under atmospheric conditions. However, in the case of atmospheric laser welding, the generation of high density high temperature metallic vapour and its interaction with the laser beam (so called laser plasma) occurs and strongly affects the welded bead. This laser plasma can be suppressed by using inert gas (e.g. helium) as an assist gas. Another solution for the problem of laser plasma is the use of a low vacuum (a few thousand pascals). Recognised characteristics of laser welding are deep penetration, narrow bead width, and narrow heat affected zone (HAZ) typical of high power density welding. This configuration is achieved in a keyhole welding mode in which the beam passes entirely through the joint to produce a full penetration weld (Fig. 4). Applications have generally used the downhand welding position. However, it is also possible to carry out all position welding for complex components.

Joining of intermetallics
Joining of titanium aluminides

During the past decade, an extensive effort has been devoted to developing titanium aluminide (Ti3AI, designated as (X2, and TiAI, designated as y) based alloys. These alloys, which are still in the research and development stage, possess very good high temperature properties, such as oxidation, high temperature fatigue, and creep resistances, as a result of their high specific modulus, high recrystallisation temperatures, and low selfdiffusion. However, their room temperature ductility is intolerably low. Although the addition of f3 stabilisers seems to be the solution to their brittleness, large amounts of f3 stabilisers give rise to microstructures consisting mainly of f3

9am and Kot;ak

Joining of advanced materials

ultra high energy density beam

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Modified Ti-AI phase diagram: after pfullmann

titanium. This means that these alloys therefore suffer from the disadvantages associated with a full f3 structure, e.g. reduced creep strength. Blackburn and Smith8,9 have found that the addition of 13 at.-%Nb (or up to 4 at.-% V) to cxz-Ti3AI and the addition of 05-15 at.-o/oV to y-TiAI improved their ductility. This discovery has stimulated an extensive study of Ti-AI based intermetallics, which has reached the point of evaluating their potential applications, mainly in the aerospace industry. Two types of CXz- Ti3 Al based alloys with some room temperature ductility, namely Ti-26AI-llNb (at.-o/o) (the first generation CXz alloy, designated Ti-26-ll) and Ti-25AI-lONb-3V-lMo (at.-%) (the second generation CXz alloy, also known as super CXz and designated Ti-25-l0-3-l), are now available. The joinability of Ti-AI based alloys is an important factor in determining their potential for wider use, since their fabrication is limited as a direct result of their low room temperature ductility. There is, therefore, increasing interest in fabrication of these alloys using joining, e.g. fusion welding and solid state bonding techniques. Physical metallurgy of titanium aluminides At present there are several ongoing projects on solid state (diffusion bonding) and fusion welding (LB) of y- TiAI alloys, as well as the alloy development work at the GKSS Research Center. Therefore, the physical metallurgy of titanium aluminides is discussed in detail in this review. An excellent review of the physical and welding metallurgy of titanium aluminides has been conducted by Threadgill.lO,l1 It is essential to comprehend the features of the Ti-AI equilibrium phase diagram in order to interpret the complex welding metallurgy of these alloys. It is perhaps surprising that the Ti-AI phase diagram is not fully known and, until very recently, even the most important parts of the titanium rich end were controversial. It now appears to be accepted that the cx field extends to the y field (Fig. 5).lZ-ls Three principal intermetallics are formed, namely CXz- Ti3 AI, y- TiAI, and TiAI3, which has no Greek symbol. Other intermetallic compounds may also exist, but their structures and stabilities are uncertain. Examination

of the phase diagrams shows that solidification to IX, f3, or y phases would be feasible, with only minor changes in the Til Al ratio. McCullough et al.1Z,16 have provided strong evidence that stoichiometric TiAI solidifies with cx as the primary phase. The greatest progress has been made in the Ti-AI alloys based on the CXz- Ti3AI intermetallic. This intermetallic exists as an ordered hcp (D019) structure at ambient temperatures over a range of compositions, although at elevated temperatures it exists as the bcc phase. On cooling from elevated temperatures, it is believed to transform to a disordered cx phase, with long range order (cxz) being established at a slightly lower temperature.1S The structure of y-TiAI is ordered fcc (Llo) which, like CXz- Ti3 AI, can exist over a reasonably wide range of compositions.1s Unlike CXz- Ti3 AI, it does not undergo a phase change at elevated temperatures, although it does lose its long range order. However, the width of the y- TiAI field diminishes significantly with increasing temperature. It is believed that the TiAl3 phase exists only as a line compound in the binary system. The structure of TiAl3 is tetragonal (DOzz). Figure 5 illustrates the uncertainty in the region of the binary phase diagram between the TiAl3 and y- TiAI fields, although recent work by Schuster and Ipser17 suggests that a number of other compounds may exist in this region. All titanium aluminides possess good high temperature strength and oxidation resistance. However, their limited ductility at low temperatures precludes their use in load bearing structures. Intense research activity has been undertaken to improve the room temperature ductility of these alloys, without compromising their high temperature performance, and some of the more significant developments are discussed below.
lt2- Ti3 Ai aiuminides. As the binary Ti-AI phase diagram in Fig. 5 shows, CXz- Ti3 Al intermetallic forms over a range of aluminium contents from 22 to 36 at._%.12,18,19 The intermetallic exhibits a hcp ordered crystal structure (D019 superlattice). Studies by Sastry and LipsittZO on a near stoichiometric

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r;am and Kor;ak Joining of advanced materials

(X2- Ti3Al alloy indicated that on cooling the high temperature bee 13 phase transforms allotropically to the hcp rJ.. phase and then orders extremely rapidly at temperatures just below the 13 transus temperature (1125-1150C). They suggested that the low ductility of the ordered hcp structure (of the order of 1-2% elongation) results from a high degree of slip planarity and an absence of non-basal slip and twinning in the ordered structure. The low temperature ductility of the (X2- Ti3AI alloy can be improved by adding 13 stabilisers, such as niobium, molybdenum, or vanadium. These alloying elements increase the number of slip systems available, refine the microstructure by lowering the 13 transus temperature, and also permit a small amount of retained 13 at ambient temperatures. Sastry and Lipsitt20 showed that the presence of niobium improves (Xr Ti3AI ductility by reducing slip length and planarity and increasing the tendency for nonbasal slip. An improvement in the ductility of niobium containing alloys has also been attributed to the dispersal of slip by small islands of 13 phase. The results have led to much work on alloys such as Ti-24-11 (Ref. 21) and more recently Ti-25-10-3-1 (Ref. 22) directed towards finding microstructures giving optimum combinations of room temperature and high temperature properties. Unfortunately, the addition of these denser elements results in a material which is almost as dense as the conventional titanium alloys which it could replace. Figure 6a shows a Ti3AI-Nb pseudobinary phase diagram developed from the work of several investigators.23-:'-26 As illustrated, an increase in the niobium content promotes a decrease in the 13 transus temperature. It should be noted that this diagram indicates transformation on cooling directly from 13 phase to (X2' However, it is more likely that transformation occurs from 13 to disordered (x, which subsequently orders on cooling. The nominal composition of Ti-24-11 is indicated by the arrow in Fig. 6a.23,26 An equivalent 'effective' composition for Ti-25-10-3-1 would be located to the right of that for Ti-24-11 owing to its increased 13 stabiliser content. Kim and Froes21 also proposed a Ti3AI-Nb pseudobinary phase diagram (Fig.6b), which is somewhat more complicated than that illustrated in Fig. 6a. These authors reported an ordering of the 13 phase to a 132 structure and the presence of an orthorhombic (0) phase based on Ti2NbAI. Thermomechanical processing and heat treatment studies on both alloys have shown that the lh2-f3 microstructures produced in these alloys closely resemble those of similarly processed conventional (X-f3 titanium alloys.27-3o In many instances, structureproperty relationships have also been shown to parallel those associated with conventional titanium alloys, although the room temperature ductility and toughness levels of the titanium aluminides are always appreciably lower. Light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) bright field micrographs of (X-f3 processed Ti- 26-11 sheet in Fig. 7 (Ref. 31) show a close resemblance to (X-f3 processed near (X or (X-f3 titanium alloys. The 13 processed or heat treated microstructures also parallel those of conventional alloys, as shown in Fig. 8 (Ref. 31) for 13 annealed Ti-26-10-3-1 alloy.

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Pseudobinary diagram

Ti3AI-Nb

equilibrium

phase

The mechanical properties of these alloys are strongly dependent on microstructure, which in turn can be controlled by thermomechanical processing. Luetjering et al.32 have recently described studies on super (X2 (Ti3AI-Nb-Mo-V) which demonstrate the potential of microstructural control. Alloy systems based on Ti3AI-Nb ((X2) and super (X2 are now available in preproduction quantities for evaluation and although alloy development is still underway, it is unlikely that the compositions will change markedly in the near future. At this stage, it is not clear whether the two phase (X2 + 13 microstructures required for room temperature ductility have adequate high temperature stability and creep properties. The achievement of some room temperature ductility in (X2-Ti3AIbased alloys by alloying with niobium has also initiated increasing interest in developing (X2-Ti3AI based MMCs, which are expected to surpass the monolithic (Xr Ti3Al alloys in some properties such as fatigue and creep resistance.33 Another alternative approach is considered to be the

International

Materials Reviews

1998

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f;am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

./ ~.:

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exploitation of eutectic reactions in titanium alloys in order to produce in situ composites with good flow and creep resistances via relatively simple casting technologies. These alloys offer, in addition to the possibility of controlling the interlamellar spacing, the advantages of microstructural and thermal stability (including interfacial stability) inherent in eutectic microstructures. These alloys are also expected to offer improved high temperature properties compared with their monolithic counterparts. Recently, several investigations were conducted on these alloys. Wu et al.3435 have reported that ternary Ti-AI-Si alloy with hypoeutectic and eutectic microstructures containing the intermetallic phases Ti3(AI,Si) and Tis(Si,Alh have promising high temperature mechanical properties. However, their room temperature ductility and fracture toughness were found to be relatively low. Wagner et al.3637 have also investigated the effects of niobium additions on silicon containing C(rTi3AI based eutectic alloys and found that niobium addition improved oxidation resistance dramatically. However, no beneficial effect on room temperature ductility and fracture toughness was obtained. Rapid solidification processes offer a judicious way of controlling microstructure, extending the solubility range of alloying elements, and producing metastable or amorphous phases. In the case of eutectic alloys, microstructural control (interlamellar spacing, eutec-

tic grain size, and eutectic structure) is of prime concern. Metastable or amorphous phases are generally not formed in eutectic alloys. Es-Souni et al.38 have investigated the effect of rapid solidification on the microstructure of C(2Ti3 AI based eutectic alloy containing silicon and niobium and reported a substantial microstructural refinement in the melt spun ribbons in comparison to the arc melted alloys. The melt spinning technique, and also more sophisticated rapid solidification techniques such as gas atomisation, seem to be promising ways of producing fine scale microstructures. Dutta and Banerjee39 reported superplasticity in Ti3AI + 11 at.-%Nb alloy, which was consumable arc remelted under vacuum, {3forged, and hot rolled well below the (/.2-{3 transus (11 OOC) to obtain a fine grained equiaxed C(2-/3 microstructure with an average grain size of about 4 Jlm. They attained a maximum tensile elongation of 5200/0 at 980C and at a strain rate of 33 x 10-4 S-I. More recently, superplasticity in Ti-25AI-10Nb-3V-1Mo (at.-%) quinary alloy, known as super C(2,has been reported by Yang et al.,40 with ductilities of up to 570% when deformed at 980C and a strain rate of 15 x 10-4 S-I. In another work, Ghosh and Cheng41 reported 800% tensile elongations in super C(2alloy at even lower temperature (950C) and at a strain rate of the order of 10 - 4 S - 1. Ridley et al.42.43 have also studied the superplasticity of super C(2with an (/.2+ {3 duplex
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

f;am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

microstructure (with mean grain size 3 /lm). They showed that enhancement of superplastic strain to failure can be achieved for constant velocity testing (decreasing strain rate) and not for constant strain rate deformation. Consequently, specimens were pulled to failure at a constant velocity of 100/0min - \ with an initial strain rate of 166 x 10-3 s -1. These authors reported that the material showed maximum strain rate sensitivity factor m values > 04 at temperatures of 960-980C, with a maximum tensile elongation of 13500/0at 960C. They concluded that there is potential use for the SPF-DB process with super a2' More recently, Guo et al.44 studied the superplasticity and diffusion bonding of Ti-14Al-21Nb-3Mo -1 V (wt-%) super a2 alloy. They reported elongations of ~ 573% at 950C and a strain rate of 452 x 10-5 s- \ which increased to 1096% as temperature was raised up to 980C at the same strain rate, whereas elongation of Ti-14Al-21Nb (wt-%) ternary a2 alloy was reported to be 4770/0 at 950C and a strain rate of 149 x 10- 5 S -1. These authors also reported that increasing the strain rate decreased superplasticity; super a2 alloy exhibited 3850/0 tensile elongation at 950C and a strain rate of 49 x 10-4S-1 (Ref. 5). They also noted that the SPF-DB technique is suitable for arTi3Al based alloys. Nanophase a2-Ti3Al alloys produced by mechanical attrition have also been reported,45 although it is not clear whether the expected increase in strength and ductility has been realised. It can be estimated from the phase diagrams that the f3 to a2 phase transformation will be a critical event in the joining of these materials. Work by Baeslack et al.46,47 and Weykamp et al.48 on the kinetics of the phase transformation has shown it to be rather sluggish and that the reaction is even slower in the more complex super a2 alloys.
y- TiAl aluminides.

The y- TiAl aluminides possess properties superior to those of the a2- Ti3Al alloys, such as lower density (3'7-3'9 g cm-1), higher elastic modulus, and better high temperature mechanical properties and oxidation resistance, but their room temperature ductility is 10wer.49Extensive research in the late 1980s led to identification of several engineering alloys based on Ti-( 47-49)Al with room temperature plastic elongation values up to 3'50/0 and improved strength. Remarkable improvements in fracture toughness and creep properties have also been achieved recently, making y-TiAl aluminides potentially viable engineering alloys.50-53There is a ductile to brittle transition temperature for y- TiAl aluminides, which lies between 550 and 700C depending on the alloy composition.49 At elevated temperatures, these alloys can exhibit very high ductilities. Although there has been an extensive effort devoted to the development of more ductile y- TiAl based alloys, less work has been published than on a2-Ti3Al alloys and the ambient temperature ductilities of known y- TiAl alloys are less than those of the arTi3Al alloys. Chen54 has conducted quenching studies of binary Ti-Al alloys and of some ternary systems. Although his results show no clear evidence for the formation of the f3 phase at high temperatures, this may have
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43

been a result of insufficient soaking time before quenching to achieve equilibrium. Furthermore, the position of the a/a + y boundary at high temperatures is significantly affected by the vanadium content of the alloy. Huang and Siemers55 have reported dilatometry and solidification data which also indicate that the a phase is stable up to the melting point and that binary alloys containing 50-54 at.-%Al will solidify as a. These authors further point out that comparison with other data may be difficult, as oxygen (an a stabiliser) contents are not always known. Degawa et al.56 have reported that oxygen had an adverse effect on the ductility of y- TiAl castings, whereas its effect on strength appeared to be marginal. These authors proposed that the oxygen content of y- TiAl alloys should be below 2000 ppm for optimum ductility. It is likely that the effects of other alloying elements on solidification and solid state transformation will be pronounced, since the alloying elements most often used to promote ductility are f3 stabilisers. In other work, Kobayashi et al.57 studied the microstructures of rapidly solidified alloys and again reported that the a field extends to the y field. A number of approaches to alloying of y- TiAl to improve ductility have been suggested and useful reviews have been conducted by Kim49 and Khan et al.58 Sastry and Lederich59 have proposed the use of ductile phase reinforcement, in which small (200 Jlm) particles of ductile titanium or niobium alloys are incorporated into the material at the level of 10-20 vol.-%. This is reported to have led to increased toughness, provided that excessive reaction between the ductile phase and the matrix could be avoided. More conventional approaches have proposed the addition of 1-10 at.-% of elements such as vanadium, chromium, manganese, tungsten, molybdenum, niobium, and tantalum, either singly or in combination. The amount of aluminium and the type and amount of ternary or quarternary additions determines whether the crystal structure is single phase, equiaxed y, or duplex lamellar y + a2 The relative amounts of equiaxed and duplex y present in the final microstructure also depend strongly on the heat treatment and cooling rate from process temperatures. The y- TiAl alloys that are of engineering importance are the two phase alloys Ti-( 45-49 )Al-( 1- 3)X(1-5)Y-(0'1-1)Z, where X = V, Mn, and/or Cr, Y = Nb, Ta, W, and/or Mo, and Z = Si, C, B, N, Ni, Fe, P, Se, or Te.51 In the two phase a2 + y alloys, vanadium, chromium, and manganese improve ductility, whereas niobium, silicon, tungsten, and tantalum improve oxidation resistance. In single phase alloys, niobium and tantalum are used as strengthening additions as well as to improve corrosion resistance. Unfortunately, it seems that alloying elements that improve ductility will decrease the oxidation resistance49,6oa'nd the reverse is also true. However, small additions of Group Vb and Group VIb elements, such as telurium, selenium, and phosphorus, improve oxidation resistance without compromising ductility.60 Furthermore, small additions of carbon and nitrogen are known to improve creep resistance and silicon yields some improvements in oxidation resistance and room temperature ductility.51 Small

NO.1

9am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

additions of boron and silicon refine the microstructure. Since small variations in the alloy content will result in significant shifts in the 1X+ 2 y phase boundary, it is obvious that alloy compositions will have to be precisely defined. The mechanisms by which these alloying additions improve the ductility is complex. Yamaguchi61 has shown that deformation in y- TiAI is predominantly by mechanical twinning and that this can be enhanced by manganese additions, an observation also reported by Hug and Veyssiere.62 Hanamura et al.63 and Tsujimoto and Hashimot064 have also reported that small additions of manganese to y- TiAI improve room temperature ductility. However, it is not clear to what extent the mechanical properties are influenced by compositional factors or by effects of microstructure. Dogan et al.65 have investigated the effect of manganese (1 at.-o/o) on the fracture behaviour of Ti-485 at.-o/oAI, which has a microstructure of lamellar two phase 1X+ 2 y and found that the manganese addition did not improve the ductility. Encouraging levels of room temperature ductility and fracture toughness can be achieved in y- TiAI based alloys containing minor additions of alloying elements such as vanadium, chromium, manganese, or niobium by appropriate choice of composition and process variables.49 For a given two phase alloy composition, microstructural variations directly influence the room temperature ductility, which ranges from 05 to 40/0 plastic elongation.5o,64,66-68 Recent research has also revealed ductile Ti + ""47 3 at.- 0/0 Al alloy, which has ductility that can exceed 400/0, even at room temperature with compressive testing.69 These findings have triggered extensive research activity to improve the room temperature ductility of y- TiAl. Attempts have involved alloying with various additional elements and selecting alloy compositions which lead to two phase microstructures consisting of 1X2-Ti3AIand y-TiA1.70 The mechanical properties of the two phase alloys (which possess a microstructure consisting of equiaxed y grains and colonies of thin parallel 1X2and y lamellae) are superior to those of single phase material,66,71-73 with strength and ductility being particularly dependent on the volume fraction of the lamellar colonies. However, the two phase alloys' fracture toughness of 16 MPa m1/2 (Refs. 49, 66-68, 74, 75) is lower than that of the fully lamellar microstructure with large grain sizes, which is typically lower than 16 MPa m1/2 (Refs. 66-68, 74-76). Two phase 1X+ 2 y alloys are heat treated in the IX + y phase field to yield a microstructure consisting of two distinct morphologies, namely equiaxed y grains and colonies of thin parallel 1X2 and y lamellae. That these improvements in properties are associated with the complex series of solid state phase transformations which such alloys undergo was first appreciated at a stage where a number of groups12,13,16,77,78produced modifications to the high temperature region of the appropriate portion of the Ti-AI phase diagram. There has been a lack of systematic work to locate precisely the high temperature boundaries in this system and in particular to investigate whether the alloying elements considered desirable exert their influence via effects

which are primarily 'microstructural' or 'compositional' in nature. Another successful approach which has been reported is the use of the Martin Marietta XD process to produce an alloy containing a dispersion of TiB2 particles (XD composite). Patterson et al.79 claimed that the particulate reinforcement is directly responsible for grain size refinement, which in turn results in improved casting and thermomechanical process characteristics. Recently, superplastic behaviour in y- TiAI has been attained. A structure composed of y- TiAI with 3 vol.-%IX2-Ti3AI was obtained in a titanium aluminide containing 36 wt-%AI after undergoing a compressive strain of 80/0 at 1000C with a strain rate of 10-3 S-1 and subsequently held at 925C for 24 h. The grain size was found to be about 8 Jlm. This alloy exhibits superplastic behaviour within the strain rate interval 0'83-1'6 x 10-3 S-1 with an In value of 04. The largest extension to rupture of 2500/0 was obtained at 925C and 80 x 10-4 S-1 (Ref. 80). A maximum elongation of > 1000/0 in y-TiAI at 1100C at a strain rate range of 10-3 S-1 was also reported by Mitao et al.B1 For y- TiAI based alloys, superplastic behaviour was also achieved in the following manner. A mixture of elemental powders of titanium and aluminium (50 at.- /0), after undergoing a mechanical alloying process, was hot pressed at 900C for 1 h under a pressure of 100 MPa. This resulted in a compact having a relative density of 99'80/0 and an ultrafine grain structure (0'1 Jlm) consisting mainly of the y- TiAI intermetallic compound. Grain growth up to 2 Jlm occurred after an anneal at 1200C for 10 h. The material lost its brittleness after the final heat treatment and the compressive deformation of the compact at 900C was presumed to proceed by superplastic flow.81 In more recent work, Maeda et al.82 attained a tensile elongation of 230/0 in y- TiAI at 1000C and a strain rate range of 10-5 S-1. The strain rate sensitivity of rolled y- TiAI based Ti-48AI-2Cr alloy was measured in the temperature range 1000-1200C for two different grain sizes by Clemens et a1.83 It was shown that superplastic behaviour can be found even for relatively coarse grained material (27 Jlm) at temperatures above 1100C. On heating, y- TiAI alloys will undergo changes in the equilibrium 1X21y ratio (with IXbeing more stable at higher temperatures) and eventually (at least under equilibrium conditions) a complete transformation of y to IX will take place. According to the phase diagram proposed by McCullough et al.12,16 there is a phase change at about 1130C from 1X+ + y and 2 y to IX eventually complete transformation to IX. TiAl3 aluminides. Although alloys based on the TiAl3 stoichiometric composition have been developed, these alloys are not yet as well optimised as other titanium aluminides and are still a long way from commercial production. However, the low density, high specific strength, good elevated temperature properties, and excellent oxidation resistance have provided an incentive for alloy development. The D022 structure is derived from the fcc (LI2) structure, which generally exhibits some ductility. Several authors have reported that Ti-AI-X alloys with the
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

10

9am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

(a)
~ transus

550
.6.

Ti-26AI-llNb

500
lr)

o Ti-26.IAI-9.6INb-2.9V-O.9Mo

~
I I I, I I :P -'U2

450

P -. , +B2P

~ +~p

p -.

(~+P)n&g+U2 I ~'+U2+j3IB2 ~ --. ---.

P -.

, +U2+P

~ ~~ 400 ~ :::
]

:r::

350 300 250

fucreasing diffusional growtWdecreasing shear product Partitionless

Increasing partitioning

Time
1400 (b) - - - Ti-26Al-11Nb -Ti-26.1 Al-9.61 Nb-2.9V-0.9Mo 1200

0.1 1 10 100 1000 Cooling rate in from 1200C to tr~nsformation or 800DC, K S-l

10

U2

~ v
l-<

Knoop hardness (500 g load) v. cooling rate for and super U2 alloys continuously cooled from 1200C (Ref. 47)

1000

~ ~ ~

800

---- -I I I I I I

600

lOOK/s 400 1 lO

10K/s 100

lK/s 1000

Time,s
a for decomposition of high temperature f3 phase in (X2 alloy (schematic), after Weykamp et al.;48 b for (X2 and super (X2 alloys as determined by dilatometry47

Continuous cooling transformation

curves

L12 structure can be produced by alloying with copper,84-87 nickel and zinc,84,85,87iron,87-89 boron,86 manganese,84,85,87,90 chromium,84,87,90,91 cobalt,87 or paladium.92 Studies on the Ti-AI-Mn and Ti-AI-~r systems have indicated lower hardne.ss value~ .than In TiAI3, together with good compreSSIve ductthty, ~nd some tensile ductility. Mechanical data about TIA13 alloys are very scarce, but properties comparable to or better than those of y- TiAI alloys have been reported at ambient and elevated temperatures. Zhang et al.84 have suggested that quarternary Ti-AI-Mn-V alloys are the most promising. No indications of phase changes with temperature have been reported following preliminary differential thermal analysis (DTA) studies,84 but other intermetallic compounds, which could result in loss of ductility, were observed in these alloys before hom?genisation. Tarnacki and Kim86 found that rapId solidification in alloys containing boron or manganese still resulted in the L12 structure and that boron and manganese formed second phases which markedly strengthened the matrix, increased the hardness: ~nd refined the microstructure. In copper contaInIng alloys however, rapid solidification had little effect, but these authors reported that all rapidly solidified alloys appeared to be brittle. Hoellrig and Ogilvy,93 who supported this observation, investigated spray deposition of various TiAI3-X allo~s: They reported that a slow cooling rate from depOSItIon temperature to ambient temperature was required to prevent cracking of the sprayed preforms. Welding metallurgy of titanium aluminides (X2- Ti3Al aluminides. Although published data are limited, there is no evidence to suggest that the (X2
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

based alloys suffer from any major weldability difficulties in terms of susceptibility to hot cracking, etc. David et a1.94 have carried out sigmajig tests on a Ti- 24Al-ll Nb alloy and reported that the resistance to solidification cracking was quite acceptable. The major problem with this alloy is its very low du~tility at ambient temperature and the consequent fIsk of solid state cracking. The most significant factor in the joining of ct2 alloys is the f3 to (X phase transformation, which is comparatively sluggish and much slower than the similar y and (X transformation which is critical in the welding of ferrous alloys. It is rather difficult to quantify the comparison, but it is worth noting that a cooling rate as slow as 50 K s -1 in super (X2 alloys still suppresses any f3 decomposition, whereas such a cooling rate in common C- Mn steels would ensure complete transformation. Several authors46-48,95 have concluded that rapid cooling of (X2 and super (X2 alloys from the f3 phase results in little or no f3 decomposit~on and that the microstructure consequently conSIsts primarily of retained ordered f32' Alt.hough this phase is comparatively ductile, it has margIn~1 notch tou~hness and is therefore not always a deSIrable constItuent. Furthermore, it is thermodynamically unstable and exposure at elevated temperatures in service may lead to transformation to the equilibrium (X2 phase. Less rapid cooling from the f3 phase field will yield a very hard (X2 martensitic structure, with virtually no retained f3 phase,48,95 together with the formation of and OJ phases.94,96 Although this martensitic structure exhibited very high strength, it was very brittle and therefore clearly undesirable. In order to obtain the most desirable microstructure in (X2 alloys, which consists of a fine (X2-f3 mixture, it is necessary to cool quite slowly from the f3 phase field and this requires either the application of very high preheats before welding to slow down the cooling rate or the development of specific post-weld heat treatment (PWHT) schedules to produce desirable microstructures. Weykamp et al.48 have proposed a s~hematic ~ontinuous cooling transformation (CCT) dIagram (FIg. 9a), which shows the various transformations in (X2' It can be seen that, as might be expected, the diffusion controlled transformations are favoured at slow cooling rates and shear at higher cooling rates. ~ae~lack and Broderick47 have also proposed a prehmInary

9am and Ko(:ak

Joining of advanced materials

11

CCT diagram for tt2 and super tt2 alloys, which is given in Fig. 9b. This diagram clearly demonstrates the effect of various alloy compositions on the rate of transformation in these alloys. Figure 10, from the same work, shows the effect of cooling rate on the hardness of the alloy. As can be seen from Fig. 10, the peak hardness value corresponds to fairly modest cooling rates, particularly in the more highly alloyed super tt2 alloys. Thus, joining processes in which the cooling rates can be closely controlled are likely to be particularly useful in producing the desirable weld microstructure. In this respect, processes such as electron beam welding followed by beam rastering to slow the cooling rate are promising. The degree of the ordering of the f3 phase appears to depend on the previous thermal history, 97 since it will determine the Til Al ratio in this phase. Furthermore, variations in the degree of f3 ordering may be present across a weldment. Kestner- Weykamp et al.97 have pointed out that the degree of f3 ordering may be of more than academic interest, since the higher diffusivity expected for the disordered f3 phase will adversely influence creep resistance. Peters and Bassi98 have reported two additional phases in super a2 alloys existing as precipitates, namely a hcp w phase and an 0 phase. These precipitates only appear after long periods at elevated temperatures and are thus unlikely to form as a result of welding unless the cooling rate is extremely slow. There is considerable evidence to suggest that the ductility of tt2 (Ref. 99) and super tt2 (Ref. 100) aluminides can be influenced by hydrogen. It has been suggested that hydrogen embrittlement is associated with the formation of a hydride phase, possibly TiNbH (Ref. 99), TiH2 (Ref. 101), or Ti3AIH (Ref. 102). Recent publications by Eliezer et al.103 and 104 Schwartz et al. have concluded that the mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement are very complex and that hydrogen behaves in a different manner in the a2 and f3 phases, with hydride formation being much more likely in the former. Furthermore, diffusion rates for hydrogen are appreciably higher in the f3 phase. Hydrogen embrittlement could be quite important in several joining processes, especially in slag shielded arc welding, where hydrogen is unavoidably introduced into the weld pool. Fortunately, such processes are not normally used for titanium based alloys. It is possible that any effects of hydrogen will be most significant in joining processes in which high hardness a2 martensite is formed, which will have very low ductility even in the absence of hydrogen. No solidification cracking problems have been reported for y- TiAI aluminides, but the major challenge is again the ability to cope with the lack of ambient temperature ductility. Non-equilibrium solid state phase transformations have not been fully investigated, but it is well established that significant changes in the equilibrium a21y ratio will take place on heating and a phase transformation to tt will occur at high temperatures. In the alloys containing f3 stabilisers, it is likely, but not demonstrated, that some f3 phase may form at very high
y- TiAI aluminides.

temperatures. However, this is not likely to be a major problem. It has been reported 105,106 that hydrogen can form previously unknown hexagonal hydrides in some y- TiAI alloys under high pressures and temperatures. The same authors have also detected cubic J titanium hydrides and other undetermined precipitates in y- TiAI alloys after hydrogen charging. Eliezer et al.103 and Schwartz et a1.104 have pointed out that y-TiAI alloys would be expected to have good resistance to hydrogen embrittlement, except under the most extreme conditions. Although there is no direct evidence to support this point of view, it is not likely that hydrogen would be of major concern in the welding of y- TiAI alloys. TiAl3 aluminides. No studies on the we1dability or welding metallurgy of TiAl3 based alloys have been reported, but it is known from studies on the processing of these alloys that any operation involving rapid cooling of the joint is likely to lead to cracking. No information is available on the non-equilibrium cooling and possible transformations which may take place. Because of the high aluminium content of TiAl3 alloys, joining processes such as diffusion bonding may require an interlayer and it is likely that these alloys may not be able to withstand the severe plastic deformation required in processes such as friction welding. The complexity of the binary Ti-AI phase diagram in the range between the TiAI and TiAl3 compounds,17,18 where several other intermetallic compounds may exist, will also have a significant effect on the microstructure and hence performance of joints cooled under non-equilibrium conditions. This aspect will obviously require further investigation when progress has been made on the more critical shortcoming of the undesirably low ductility of these alloys. Welding of titanium aluminides Solid state joining of a2- Ti3Al aluminides. Work at TWl107,108 has demonstrated that diffusion bonding of ttr Ti3AI alloys presents few problems in terms of producing a sound weld and that 25 at.- 0/0 Al has no apparent effect on the excellent quality of the bonds which can normally be made in titanium alloys. It is reasonable to assume that the same will be true of the super tt2 compositions. However, no data yet exist on the properties of such welds, particularly at elevated temperatures. Figure 11 (Ref. 108) shows microstructures at the bond line in specimens diffusion bonded above and below the f3 transus and the partial transformation which occurs at the higher temperature is evident. A good quality bond can however be obtained at lower temperatures. Ridley et al.42,43 have reported some initial studies on diffusion bonding of super tt2 with a 3 mm thickness. Trials of isostatic diffusion bonding were carried out at various temperatures below the f3 transus temperature (reported to be 1080-1 085C) and satisfactory bonds were obtained at temperatures of 1030 and 1050C. At the latter temperature, the alloy contains about 800/0 f3 phase. The authors believed that considerable potential for SPF-DB exists. More recently, Guo et al.44 reported a shear strength of 7976 MPa in super tt2 diffusion bonded without interlayer at
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

12

f;am and Ko(:ak

Joining of advanced materials

if)

500
BM

~ 400
rJ:J

"0

~ 300 200 -1.6

~ ::r:

HAZ

FZ

HAZ

Distance from \\eld centrelire, mm

IBM

1.6

-1.2

12 Knoop microhardness traverse for inertia friction weld in 19 mm diameter U2 rod46

a bonded at 1070C (above p transus temperature) under 3-44 MPa pressure for 2 h; b bonded at 1035C (below p transus temperature) under 344 MPa pressure for 2 h

11 Diffusion bonds in Ti-26-11: arrows indicate bond line 108 x 400

990C under pressure of 9 MPa for 70 min, which approached the shear strength of the base metal. They also reported that there are good prospects for elrTi3AI based alloys to be formed using the SPF-DB technique. Cox et al.109 successfully demonstrated the potential for diffusion bonding of elr Ti3Al alloys using capacitor discharge heating. Depending on the conditions used, either a solid state or a fusion weld was produced, but the authors reported higher shear strengths in solid state bonds made with higher electrode force and that these properties exceeded those found in fusion welds by a significant margin. Shear stress values of up to 355 MPa were reported for bonds in 17 mm thick sheet. Under these conditions, peak hardness values of around 380 HK were observed at the bond line. Friction welding offers an attractive method of joining these materials and some success has been obtained using inertia welding in the USA 46 and linear friction welding at TWI.lo8,llo However, these studies were again confined to el2 compositions and it was found that in both process variants the region close to the bond line developed unfavourable microstructures consisting of retained f3 and el2 martensite. This is reflected in the hardness data shown in Figs. 12 (inertia welding) and 13 (continuous drive). Although the microstructures are difficult to identify by optical microscopy, recent studies by Baeslack et al.108,110 using TEM have confirmed the presence of el2 martensite and retained f3 at the bond line, with more f3 being present in welds made at a higher frequency where the cooling rate would have been faster. Stotler et al.lll conducted successful flash welding of el2- Ti3AI alloys in 05 x 02 in (125 x 5 mm) secInternational Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 No.1

tions and reported encouraging mechanical property data. Their limited microstructural data show that the bond line structure consisted of fine el2 and retained f3 phases, but no hardness measurements were reported. Further studies by the same authors1l2 demonstrated that the changes in the microstructures are related to variations in process parameters. They suggested that some control of cooling rate, and in turn microstructure, can be achieved by varying the die opening and upset distance. Increasing the former caused a decrease in the cooling rate, whereas increasing the latter increased the cooling rate. Increasing the upset distance also resulted in the displacement of the more heated material into the flash, reducing the width of the HAZ and generally increasing the strength of the weld. Martensitic microstructure was the predominantly produced structure over the range of conditions studied, but the scale of the microstructure varied significantly. In contrast to expectation, the weld with the highest hardness exhibited the best ambient temperature mechanical properties (ultimate tensile strength 490 MPa). The authors attributed this to the greater degree of forging in this weld. Additionally, considerable scatter in hardness data was reported, with low strength welds failing at the weld line at a stress of 158-167 MPa. These very low values could be attributed to the small cracks possibly introduced during the joining process. Baeslack et al.1l3 reported some limited data on the joining of an C(rTi3AI alloy to a Ti-6AI-2Sn4Zr-2Mo-01Si alloy by diffusion bonding, linear friction welding, and capacitor discharge spot welding.
600 550
if)

OC OOoto 0 x

~
rJ:J

500

)(0

I 0 o.x

::r:~ 450
"0

~ 400

<>

350 300 250 200 -4 -3 -2 -1 0

~g
C

<> 8c~ ~ o 0 c 2

.x3xo)C

i~ 8c~
C

<>

Distance from weld centre, mm

o o

14-21/14-21, 14-21/14-21, 6242/14-21,

25 Hz, edge; D 14-21/14-21, 125 Hz, centre; x 14-21/14-21, 25 Hz, centre

25 Hz, centre; 50 Hz, centre;

13 Hardness traverses across linear friction welds in a2 alloy illustrating effect of welding frequency 110

r;am and The microstructures of the welds were characterised in detail by optical microscopy, TEM, and electron probe microanalysis. Evidence of elemental diffusion across the interface was found in the diffusion bonds, promoting a corresponding microstructural gradient. In contrast, the linear friction welds demonstrated intense and highly localised mechanical mixing with minimal interdiffusion. The microstructure, subjected to intense mechanical work, had undergone complete dynamic recrystallisation of the 13 grains. Spot welds showed no evidence of mechanical mixing or interdiffusion. Fusion welding of r.J.2- Ti3 Al alulninides. Limited data in literature from the USA suggest that a number of fusion weld processes can be successfully adapted to the joining of r.J.2 type alloys,46,94,114-117but published information on fusion welds in the super r.J.2 types is very scarce. Studies on r.J.2 and super r.J.2 have mostly concentrated on process optimisation and very limited mechanical data other than hardness and bend data are available. Baeslack et al. 46 studied the welding of Ti- 26-11 and found that the weld microstructure and mechanical properties had a strong dependence on the cooling rate experienced during the weld thermal cycle. It was found out that moderate cooling rates associated with conventional gas tungsten arc (GTA) welding (25-75 K s -1) promote the formation of an extremely fine, acicular r.J.2 microstructure (hcp (D019) superlattice) which exhibits low ductility and high susceptibility to solid state cracking during weld cooling. It was also found that improvements in GTA weld ductility and cracking resistance could be achieved by using slower weld cooling rates 10 K s -1) to produce a coarser r.J.2 platelet + retained 13 microstructure.46 However, it is practically rather difficult to achieve such cooling rates as they require heating of the workpiece to relatively high temperatures during the welding operation.95 Increases in the peak hardness of the fusion zone and the HAZ were reported by Baeslack et al.46 and David et al.94 The data of David et al. also demonstrate the dependence of the peak hardness and HAZ width on the process parameters. As expected, the wid th of the HAZ increased with increasing energy input, but the peak hardness also increased with increased heat input. The authors attributed this to the increased retention of 13 phase in the lower heat input welds and consequent reduction in the quantity of fine r.J.2 martensite. They also suggested that an OJ phase, as observed by Strychor et al.,96 may be present. However, no firm evidence to support this view was given. The microstructure and hardness data of David et al.94 are in agreement with the results of Baeslack et al.,46 who also reported low peak hardnesses and attributed this to the retention of P phase. Baeslack et al.115 also conducted laser welding of an r.J.rTi3AI alloy in 17 mm thick sheet using a Nd- YAG laser. They reported that the application of pulsed Nd- YAG laser welding produced crack free weldments in Ti-26-11. The extremely rapid cooling rates provided by this high energy density welding process suppressed the 13 to r.J. transformation and

KOfak

Joining of advanced materials

13

600
(a)

500

400

300

200 -1.2

.. .-0.8


-004

a
FZ

004 0.8 1.2

BM[ HAZ
(b)

400

-0.5 0

I HAZ

IBM

300


0.5
mm

200


-1.0

1.0

Distance from weld centreline, a as welded;101 b after PWHT116

14

Knoop hardness traverses across Nd- VAG laser welds in u2-Ti3AI alloy

promoted the formation of a relatively ductile, ordered P microstructure (bee (B2) microstructure, CsCI type) within the fusion zone. Although this 13 (B2) phase is highly metastable, it is possible to stabilise the microstructure and develop acceptable mechanical properties. Transmission electron microscopy examination of the fusion zone of welded specimens demonstrated almost complete retention of the 13 phase, which existed as a fine equiaxed ordered 132 structure, suggesting dynamic recrystallisation had occurred on cooling. Only isolated formation of r.J.2 was observed at prior 13 grain boundaries and at dislocations. The extensive 13 retention was reflected in the hardness traverse which showed an appreciable drop in the fusion zone hardness compared with that in the HAZ, shown in Fig. 14a. In subsequent studies, Baeslack et al.116,117 investigated the influence of PWHT at temperatures between 565 and 850C followed by slow cooling on 13 decomposition in the fusion zone of a Nd-YAG laser welded Ti-26-11 alloy. However, they found that low temperature PWHT increases fusion zone hardness and significantly lowers bend ductility (Fig. 14b). The authors attributed this reduction in ductility to partial decomposition of the metastable P fusion zone microstructure to an extremely fine r.J.2 microstructure. Hardness values in the HAZ were unaffected by the heat treatment. In particular, Baeslack et al. sought evidence for the 13 decomposition to an OJ phase reported by Strychor et al.96 after heat treatment at 400C, but found none. They also demonstrated that the ductility of pulsed Nd-YAG laser welds in the Ti-26-11 alloy increases with increasing PWHT temperature, with a bend ductility following PWHT at 850C being almost equivalent to that of the r.J.-f3 processed base metal. This is probably a result of the microstructural coarsening at higher PWHT
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

14

9am and Kot;ak

Joining of advanced materials

temperatures with a corresponding improvement in weld ductility. However, more detailed evaluation of PWHT, especially at higher temperatures, will be required to develop acceptable laser weld mechanical properties. Baeslack et a1.46 and David118 have investigated autogenous tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding of LirTi3AI alloys. Baeslack et al. reported epitaxial growth of coarse fJ grains from the HAZ, which had transformed to a fine Liz microstructure in both the fusion zone and HAZ. The near HAZ structure was both finer and harder than the fusion zone microstructure and no retained fJ phase was reported. Baeslack114 has proposed that cooling rates of the order of 25 K s -lor slower would be required to generate the optimum Liz + fJ microstructure and this could necessitate the maintenance of interpass temperatures of about 600C. Cieslack et al.95 have calculated that a higher temperature of about 795C is required to achieve a cooling rate of 01 K s -1, which would produce an equilibrium + fJ microstructure for similar material. David118 did not conduct a detailed study of the microstructure of TIG welds, but did comment that the alloy was resistant to solidification cracking. A detailed assessment of the HAZ in TIG welds of a similar alloy has recently also been undertaken by Baeslack et al.119 These authors have discriminated between the microstructures observed in the near HAZ and far HAZ. In the near HAZ, where significant fJ grain growth had occurred, fJ decomposition on cooling was primarily caused by fine, acicular Liz phase, with more martensite closer to the fusion boundary. In the far HAZ, only partial transformation to fJ took place, this being along Liz grain boundaries and by the nucleation and growth of fJ transversely across the Liz grains, with the expected increase in the degree of transformation with an increase in peak temperature. Cox et al.109 conducted capacitor discharge resistance welding of an Liz- Ti3Al alloy. They reported that the cooling rate was so fast that again the microstructure consisted predominantly of retained fJ. No cracking was encountered in these welds. The alloy Ti-25-10-3-1, also known as super Liz, is a second generation Liz- Ti3Al alloy which contains a higher fJ stabiliser content than Ti-26-11. This higher fJ stabiliser content, and in particular the presence of slowly diffusing molybdenum, would be expected to promote more sluggish fJ decomposition kinetics such that a potentially more crack resistant fJ (B2) microstructure may be produced at the moderate cooling rates experienced during GTA welding. Baeslack and Broderick47 investigated the effect of cooling rate on the structure and hardness of a Ti-26-10-3-1 titanium aluminide. They found that the on cooling bcc to hcp phase transformations in Ti-26-10-3-1 closely parallel those in Ti-26-11, but initiate at appreciably longer times. They concluded that the retention of a relatively soft fJ (B2) microstructure at cooling rates down to 25 K s-1 indicates the potential for producing conventional GTA welds without solid state cracking. Conversely, these slow transformation kinetics will make the practical generation of thermally stable Widmanstatten Liz + fJ
(,(z

microstructures in fusion weldments very difficult owing to the extremely slow cooling rates required. Baeslack and Threadgill107 have performed COz laser welding for a Ti-26-10-3-1 alloy. In earlier work,46 the lack of response to etching together with the fairly low maximum hardness (about 375 HKO'5) indicated a substantial amount of retained fJ in the microstructure, although the increase in the hardness compared to the parent material was an indication of the presence of some Liz martensite. These lower hardness values confirm the expectation that fJ to Li transformation is more sluggish in the more highly alloyed super Liz. Baeslack114 has also referred to other preliminary work on COz laser welding of super Liz, where a predominantly fJz microstructure was observed, again with extensive solid state cracking, indicating a greater susceptibility to cracking in the ordered fJz microstucture. The same author has also reported similar experiences in capacitor discharge resistance welding of super where again the microstructure consisted of ordered fJz, and where cracking occurred during cooling. In contrast, Baeslack et al.115,116 also reported that no cracking was observed in Ti-26-11 Liz alloy (1'7 mm thick) welded by pulsed Nd-YAG laser welding, despite the suppression of the fJ to Li transformation. Unfortunately, there are very limited data on the weldability of super Liz alloys.
(,(z,

Diffusion bonding is considered to be one of the most suitable joining techniques for y- TiAI aluminides. For instance, Nakao et al.120 successfully demonstrated the potential for diffusion bonding of a binary y (38 wt-%AI) alloy at temperatures of 1000-1200C. They reported that reasonable mechanical properties can be obtained with tensile test failure away from the interface at room temperature, although bond line failures occur at elevated temperatures. Post-weld heat treatments led to recrystallisation of the bond, which in turn improved the high temperature mechanical properties, giving tensile failures away from the bond line. It was also proposed that only limited migration takes place across the interface. However, some migration was induced following PWHT, giving rise to tensile test failures in the base metal at elevated temperatures. Yan et a1.1Z1 also reported some success in diffusion bonding of a Ti-45AI alloy, with and without the use of interlayers. They demonstrated that good bond strengths were achieved without interlayers at high bonding temperatures (1200C) and pressures 40 MPa). The use of interlayers (titanium and vanadium) produced sound welds, but a PWHT was necessary to optimise the mechanical properties. The improvement of mechanical properties by PWHT is shown in Fig. 15. Attempts to identify an interlayer which would permit TLP bonding failed owing to tendencies to form high temperature eutectics or other stable intermetallics. However, copper based interlayers may prove to be useful. Later, Yan et al.12Z investigated solid state bonding of Ti-48AI (at.-%) alloy consisting of y-TiAI as the matrix and Liz- Ti3AI as the second phase with sputter coated interlayers of interest (containing titanium,
Solid state joining of y- TiAl aluminides.

International

Materials Reviews

1998

Vol. 43

NO.1

9am and Kor;ak

Joining of advanced materials

15

500 400 300 200 100 0


Plain bonds Ti Interlayers V Parent materials

C'j

~ .ci en
b
CIJ

0..

D Not heat treated D Heat treated

=
Q)

..c

l-< C'j Q)

en

15 Effect of PWHT on shear strength of diffusion


bonds in )' alloy:121 bonding conditions 1000C, 20 MPa for 30 min; heat treatment 1400C for 2h

vanadium, niobium, chromium, and manganese) in a thickness range of 05-15 Jlm. It was found that the bondability of titanium aluminide is improved by interlayers of vanadium, chromium, and manganese and that bonding can be carried out at relatively low temperatures or pressures, i.e. 1000C and 20 MPa. Although the resulting bond line microstructures were different from that of the parent material and the bond properties were relatively poor, a post-bond heat treatment (PBHT) at 1340C produced a lamellar structure of TiAI + Ti3 Al in the bond region and thus improved the bond properties, including deformability at high temperatures. However, since vanadium, chromium, and manganese all decrease the oxidation resistance of TiAI,49 the oxidation resistance of bonds made with these interlayers may be a potential cause for concern. Van et al.122,123 suggested the use of a niobium interlayer in addition to vanadium, chromium, or manganese to improve oxidation resistance while maintaining the ductility of bonds, since niobium additions to y- TiAI alloys significantly improve its oxidation resistance.49 Van and Wallach123 have also reported success in diffusion bonding of y- TiAl. They have pointed out that surface finish, bonding temperature, and pressure are important parameters, as expected. They suggested that solid state bonding of y- TiAI should be carried out at temperatures of at least 1100C to obtain joints with acceptable mechanical properties. A rougher surface finish (i.e. with 1200 grit emery paper) rather than a polished surface should be chosen to increase plastic deformation at the interface and thus to promote recrystallisation at the bond line and in turn greater bond strength. However, an even rougher surface (rougher than 1200 grit finish) is not beneficial since the resulting larger interface voids take longer to remove by the various diffusion processes during bonding, although more local plastic deformation can occur with rougher surfaces. Furthermore, to avoid the use of high temperature and high pressure simultaneously, a two stage bonding process is used which comprises first high pressure at a low temperature for a short time and second low pressure, but at a high temperature for a longer time.

Solid state diffusion bonds produced using 1200 grit surface finish, joined in two stages (lOOOC and 40 MPa for 5 min, followed by 1200C and 5 MPa for 30 min), exhibited the best results. However, the shear strength of the joint was below that of the parent material. The same authors also investigated TLP diffusion bonding of y- TiAI using low melting and high melting alloys. They reported that the low melting filler alloys based on Ti-Cu or Ti- Ni react with the base material and form intermetallic particles at the interface during bonding, leading to void formation during PWHT. In order to avoid this, homogenisation of bonds (or optimisation of properties) has to be carried out in two steps; first, use of a low temperature for a long time until the intermetallic particles dissolve into the base material (i.e. 1020C for 40 h), and second, use of a high temperature to optimise the microstructure and properties of bond regions (i.e. 1340C for 40 min). Therefore, these alloys should be used only when bonding at a low temperature is of particular interest. For TLP bonds made with high melting filler alloys (i.e. V-49Ni (at.-%) or Ti-38Mn (at.-%)), homogenisation at high temperature can be used directly to achieve optimised properties, since no intermetallic particles form during bonding. Hence, the properties of bonds made with these two high melting alloys were better than those of bonds made using low melting alloys. Furthermore, filler alloy elements, such as vanadium and manganese, can significantly improve the ductility of y- TiAI. The room temperature bend properties (four point bending), namely strength and ductility, of bonds made with a filler alloy of V-49Ni (at.-%) (thickness 1 Jlm) at 1250C and 2 MPa for 10 min and homogenised at 1340C for 1 h were comparable with those of the parent material. Another success in diffusion bonding of y- TiAI (",47'3 at.-%AI) has been reported.124 Sound bonded joints for mechanical testing without micro voids and oxide films, such as Ti02 or Al2 TiOs, on the bonded interfaces were produced at a temperature of 1200C for 384 ks at 15 MPa pressure. However, a PBHT at 1300C was necessary to optimise the tensile properties of the joint, resulting in fracture in the base material at a temperature of 1000C. <;am et al.12S-128 have recently also demonstrated that both cast and rolled y- TiAI alloys can be successfully bonded by solid state diffusion bonding. The bonds produced using 1200 grit surface finish exhibited the best results. Defect free bonds were produced without difficulty and recrystallised y grains with varying sizes were formed at the bond interfaces. For cast y- TiAI alloy, higher bonding temperatures and pressures provided better results, the best bond quality being achieved by bonding at 1200C and a pressure of 20 MPa, without PBHT (Fig. 16a). The effect of PBHT was also studied and it was found that the bond strength of bonds produced at lower temperatures (i.e. 975C) can be improved by heat treatment (Fig. 16b).126 For rolled y-TiAI alloy, the highest shear strength of 540 MPa was achieved by bonding at 1000C using 20 MPa pressure for 5 h, which produced indiscernible bond lines (Fig. 17).128 Defect free bonds with reasonable shear strengths (300-440 MPa) could be produced
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

16

9am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

1000
,,4
,t('

I
I

840
N

1 aluminide-aluminide 2 aluminide-ferritic steel 3 aluminide-austenitic steel

680 520

2/
I I

>

=r:

200 -0.75 18

-0.45

-0.15 0

0.15

0.45

0:75

Distance, mm
Hardness traverse across friction welds between y-TiAI alloy and y-TiAI alloy, stainless steel, and ferritic steel131

a as bonded at 1100C under 30 MPa pressure for 1 h; b after


PBHT at 1340C for 1 h

16

Micrographs showing bond regions in cast yTiAI alloy: arrows indicate bond line 126

even with pressure as low as 5 MPa for a bonding time of 8 h. Electron beam diffusion bonding of a Ti-48AI2Cr-2Nb alloy was also investigated at TWI.129

Defect free bonds were achieved and no obvious change in hardness with distance from the bond line was observed. However, no mechanical data were reported. Inertia friction welding is being considered as another alternative solid state joining technique for y- TiAI aluminides. However, work130 on inertia friction welding of Ti-48AI-2Cr-2Nb (at.-%) alloy showed that cracking occurred in the outer periphery and central heat and deformation zone (HDZ). No PWHT was carried out in this work. Initial attempts at linear friction welding of y- TiAI alloys have been made at TWI,107 but the welds showed extensive cracking. However, the joint quality was generally reasonable, with extensive grain refinement in the bond owing to dynamic recrystallisation. In an attempt to eliminate cracking, further welds were made with lower friction and forge forces and sound welds could be produced.129 Horn131 has also claimed that crack free welds in 6 and 8 mm diameter bars of an alloy believed to be Ti-48AI were produced by rotary friction welding, but he gave no detailed welding conditions. A slight hardness increase across the weld was observed, as shown in Fig. 18. Furthermore, success was also reported in joining the same material to an X55CrMnNiN-22-9-5 austenitic stainless steel by the same process, although attempts to weld the aluminide to an X22Cr Ni17 ferritic steel led to extensive interface cracking as a result of very high hardness levels in the steel.
Fusion processes for y- TiAl aluminides. Patterson et a1.79,132 have studied autogenous electron beam welding of a near y-TiAI composite, Ti-48AI (at.-%) containing 65 vol.-% TiB2 (XD composite), and reported a significant susceptibility to solid state cracking. The authors suggested that this could be overcome by reducing the cooling rate to less than 300 K s-lor by applying a preheat at 250C. They observed a significant increase in the weld zone hardness, with higher hardness levels produced at higher welding speeds owing to the higher cooling rates. Similar studies on a binary Ti-48AI alloy132demonstrated that a slower cooling rate of about 100 K S-l was required to avoid solid state cracking. Patterson

17

Micrograph showing bond region in rolled y-TiAI alloy bonded at 1000C under 20 MPa pressure for 5 h: arrows indicate bond line 128 Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 No.1

International

f;am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

17

Nickel content, wt-%


0 1800 1638 DC 1600 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

L
1400

AINi

800 660.452

/
600

(AI)
400

o Al
19 Ni-AI phase diagram

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Nickel content, at.-olo

Ni

evaluations of electron beam welds both in the composite material and in the binary alloy. The microstructure of the fused composite material was not studied conclusively, although it was reported that an acicular phase rich in titanium and boron was observed. In the binary alloy,132 coarsening of the lamellar (X2 +Y microstructure occurred in the HAZ. The authors could not define the exact weld metal microstructure in the composite alloy, although it was suggested that the predominant phase was metastable (X2 with some y colonies. They also suggested that solidification processes are dominated by epitaxial growth. Electron beam weld ability of y- TiAI alloys was also investigated at TWI.129 It was found that welds both with and without preheat showed extensive cracking, although the welds produced with preheating at 500 or 625C exhibited less extensive transverse cracking. The rapidly cooled microstructure obtained from the run without preheat was predominantly equiaxed, whereas the slower cooled runs exhibited a predominantly lamellar duplex (X2 + y microstructure. In unpublished work at TWI,107 the CO2 laser welding of a Ti-48AI-2Cr-2Nb alloy was investigated. Initial trials resulted in extensive cracking away from the weld and some porosity was also noted at the lower welding speeds. No detailed study of the weld microstructure was conducted, although it was suggested that it was possibly a mixture of two phases, which were almost certainly (X2 and y. However, further microstructural study is required to characterise these deposits fully. It was also noted that there was a significant increase in hardness in the fusion zone and this appeared to be more pronounced at higher welding speeds. Although no detailed micro-

et a1.79,132 also reported some microstructural

structural evaluation was carried out, this was suggested to be a result of the formation of (X2 martensite. General comments on titanium base intermetallics The successful integration of titanium aluminides into gas turbine systems requires their joining both to themselves and to conventional titanium alloys. Appropriate welding procedures to join titanium aluminides have yet to be established in order to fully use them commercially. Diffusion bonding has been shown to be a successfully applicable joining technique for both (X2and y based alloys. The SPF-DB technique is also believed to be promising for production of hollow turbine blades from y- TiAI alloys. Further work is, however, needed to provide more mechanical data and detailed evaluation of microstructures remain to be completed, particularly for fusion welding processes of y- TiAI based alloys. The SPF-DB and laser (C02 and Nd-YAG) welding of y-TiAI will be investigated at the GKSS Research Center. Two industrial projects have already been established to work on the topic. Joining of other intermetallics Physical metallurgy of nickel aluminides A number of excellent reviews on the physical metalIurgy and mechanical properties of nickel and iron aluminides can be found in the literature, the most recent being by Liu and Kumar,133 Miracle,134 Noebe et al.,13S and Threadgill and Dance.129 Several intermetallics are formed between nickel and aluminium, namely Ni3AI, NisA13, Ni2A13, and NiAI (Fig. 19). Of these intermetallic compounds
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 No.1

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Joining of advanced materials

Ni3Al and NiAl are of commercial interest. The most familiar intermetallic in the Ni-AI system is Ni3 AI, which is also referred to as y' and has a fcc (LIz) structure, which is the strengthening phase in commercial nickel based superalloys. The compound exists over a narrow composition range and has a melting point of 1395C. It can be used in the temperature range of the superalloys, i.e. up to 1100C, which is 800/0of the melting point of Ni3AI, so it can not be expected to extend this temperature range. The y'-Ni3AI intermetallic is highly ductile in the form of single crystals but extremely brittle in polycrystalline form and its strength exhibits an anomalous temperature dependence. The reason for the brittle behaviour was until recently believed to be intrinsically weak grain boundaries in polycrystalline y'-Ni3Al.133Early studies on its mechanical behaviour established that polycrystalline y' - Ni3 Al generally fails by intergranular fracture with little or no ductility owing to its intrinsically weak grain boundaries. However, more recent studies136,l37have shown that addition of a few parts per million of boron can dramatically improve ductility by becoming segregated to grain boundaries and improving their cohesion. Other elements, in particular iron, chromium, and zirconium, can also improve the tensile ductility of y'-Ni3Al at room temperature. However, recent studies by George et al.138-142 have demonstrated that the grain boundaries may be intrinsically ductile in polycrystalline y'-Ni3AI and that the cause of room temperature brittleness in polycrystalline form may be related to environmental effects, in particular moisture, and to microcracks introduced during processing. These authors first reported that the grain boundaries in boron free y'-Ni3AI containing 0260/0Zr are not intrinsically brittle, which means that the principal role of boron in ductilising y'-Ni3AI may be related to the suppression of environmental effects.l38 Room temperature ductilities of 6-9% in water, 11-13% in air, and 48-51 % in oxygen were observed, indicating that moisture plays an important role in embrittlement of grain boundaries. However, the role of zirconium in ductility has not been investigated. Another study by Liu143on grain boundary fracture of binary y'-Ni3AI alloy showed that the elimination of moisture by testing in dry oxygen does not suppress brittle fracture and lead to extensive ductility. These authors also pointed out that boron eliminates environmental embrittlement and that both boron and zirconium improve the ductility of y'-Ni3AI (Ref. 139) by strengthening grain boundaries. George et al. achieved elongation of 234% in an equiaxed polycrystalline boron free y'-Ni3AI in ultrahigh vacuum,140 which is a clear indication of intrinsic ductility of polycrystalline y'-Ni3Al. Moreover, the ductility increased systematically with increasing vacuum. However, the fracture mode was still intergranular in the absence of moisture and strengthening would be needed. Other recent work by George et al.141 showed that boron (when added in sufficient quantities, i.e. 100 wt-ppm) effectively suppresses environmental embrittlement in y' - Ni3 Al both in air and in water. At low boron levels (50 wtppm), boron eliminates environmental embrittlement
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 No.1

only in air. The ductility is strongly strain rate sensitive in water, increasing strain rate alleviating environmental embrittlement. Furthermore, a sufficient amount of boron changes the fracture mode from intergranular to transgranular. Cohron et al.142 also studied the effect of low pressure hydrogen on the grain boundary brittleness ofy'-Ni3Al. It was reported that low pressure hydrogen does not embrittle polycrystalline y' - Ni3 AI, suggesting that molecular hydrogen does not dissociate very efficiently into atomic hydrogen on y' - Ni3 Al surfaces. Furthermore, moisture free hydrogen is not as harmful to the ductility of y'-Ni3AI as the water vapour in air. It was also observed that the fracture mode was predominantly transgranular and elongation of more than 400/0 was achieved in the absence of any hydrogen induced embrittlement. Lee et al.144 also studied the effect of hydrogen and water pressures in the range of 10-3-103 Pa on tensile ductilities of undoped and boron doped y'-Ni3Al. It was reported that boron doped y'-Ni3AI is insensitive to water vapour, while undoped y'-Ni3AI is severely embrittled by water vapour at pressures greater than about 10-3 Pa. The NiAI intermetallic exists over a much wider composition range compared with y'-Ni3AI and has a bcc (B2) structure with a melting temperature of 1638C. The melting point of NiAI is about 300C above those of the superalloys. It also has a lower density, a higher elastic modulus, and a higher thermal conductivity than y'-Ni3Al. Furthermore, it possesses excellent oxidation resistance. Thus, NiAI has been regarded as a potential substitute for superalloys for high temperature applications for more than 40 years. However, it exhibits low room temperature ductility and poorer creep performance than the best superalloys. Although some ductility has been achieved by boron doping, NiAI based polycrystalline alloys with sufficient room temperature ductility and creep performance are considered to be unlikely.
Joining of nickel aluminides

There has been great interest in the development of y'-Ni3AI for high temperature engineering applications (including steam and gas turbine components, diesel engine components, and a variety of structural components in energy conversion systems) since the discovery that its yield strength unusually increases with temperature up to 700C (058 of the melting temperature), as shown in Fig. 20.145-147The discovery of ductilisation of y' - Ni3 Al has stimulated a vigorous programme of y' - Ni3 Al alloy development, including study of hot workability, mechanical properties, oxidation and corrosion behaviour, and weldability. The weldability aspect in particular is considered to be of some commercial value. An excellent review of the existing data on joining of nickel aluminides was conducted by Ash et al.148 The first work c'oncerning the weldability of Ni3 Al + B alloys containing iron 149showed that iron additions increased susceptibility to fusion zone and HAZ cracking during autogenous GTA welding. This susceptibility to cracking in these alloys was attributed to intrinsically weak grain boundaries. However, later work150 demonstrated that the cracking behaviour was affected by the boron content of

l;am and K09ak 60

Joining of advanced materials

19

C'l

E Z 500 ~ en
rJ)
(1)

-e =#:
(J)

E 50 40

.q
CI)

.t:
rJ)

~ 30

4: ~
C'l

~ 300 o

.5 ~
~ U

20 10

100

-200

200

400

600

800

1000 800 1000 Boron Content, wt-ppm 21 Effect of boron content on HAZ cracking tendency in y' -Ni3AI autogeneous electron beam welds 150

Temperature,OC
20 Temperature dependence of 0'2% of crystalline y'-Ni3AI (Ref. 147) flow stress

the alloys (see Fig. 21) and the best cracking resistance was obtained for a boron content of 002 wt-%. Increasing boron content above 002 wt% increased the hot cracking tendency. It was also found out that the addition of 107 wt-%Fe (Ref. 151) and 17 wt-%Hf (Ref. 152) improved the resistance to HAZ cracking. However, levels above 107 wt-% tended to promote formation of the fJ- NiAI. There was no clear indication that intergranular fJ formation increased cracking tendency, although fJ is usually considered as an undesirable micro constituent owing to its intrinsic brittleness. Autogenous GTA welds made on as cast y'-Ni3AI with hafnium additions showed severe HAZ cracking as a result of hafnium, aluminium, and nickel microsegregations in the original solidification structure. In contrast, defect free autogenous electron beam and GTA welds were made on wrought sheet and powder metallurgy compacts with the same nominal composition as a result of the absence of micro segregation. More recently, Santella and Sikka 153,154investigated the weldability of cast y' - Ni3 AI based alloys (IC221 types) containing 7'7%Cr, l'5A>Mo, and 0-3%Zr using TIG welding with or without a 3'0 wt-%Zr filler. It was reported that although increasing zirconium levels reduce the susceptibility to cracking, most y' - Ni3 AI based alloys exhibit marginal resistance to solidification cracking. Autogenous welds showed a greater susceptibility to cracking at lower zirconium levels and the alloys containing low zirconium levels (i.e. l'5%Zr) could only be welded crack free by using a high zirconium filler. In work at TWI,129 electron beam weldability of cast y' - Ni3 Al alloy was studied. However, the welds contained significant numbers of solidification cracks. The number of cracks was reduced by reducing the welding speed, but it did not eliminate cracking. Schulson155 has pointed out that the larger the grains, the higher is the stress concentration factor in the vicinity of the boundary and the lower is the applied stress necessary to nucleate a crack. This implies that the HAZ cracks caused by welding residual stress would be fewer in number for fine grained intermetallic compounds than for coarse grained ones. Chen and Chen156 demonstrated that the grain size of y'-Ni3AI has an influence on the resistance to HAZ cracking. They reported that it is possible to achieve crack free laser welds in y' - Ni3 Al

contaInIng 200 and 500 ppm boron. They also reported that a grain size of about 20 Jlm or less for the y' - Ni3 Al containing 200 ppm boron and of less than 18 Jlm for the y'-Ni3AI containing 500 ppm boron should be required to obtain weldments free from HAZ cracking. Although significant weld cracking problems were reported for boron doped y'-Ni3AI alloys for welding speeds above 13 mm s -1 (Ref. 149), butt welds made with welding speeds up to 356 cm min -1 have been performed by Chen and Chen156 on fine grained (12-15 Jlm) y'-Ni3AI specimens containing 500 ppm boron. However, no mechanical data have been reported. Molian et al.157 studied the CO2 laser welding of cast y'-Ni3AI containing boron and observed that cracking occurred in the fusion zone and HAZ. They reported that the hardness of the weld zone was substantially higher than that of the base material, which was attributed to the highly concentrated heat input of the laser beam resulting in refinement in the grain structure in the fusion zone and the HAZ. However, they also reported that room temperature tensile properties of the laser beam weldments were comparable with properties of the base material. Although some y' - Ni3 Al alloys are readily weldable, a complex interaction between hot ductility and strength determines the weldability of individual alloys based on material properties and specific welding parameters. Heat affected zone cracking was observed in y'-Ni3AI with 10 wt-%Fe and 005 wt-%B (IC25), which had zero ductility above 800C. Another y'-Ni3AI based alloy, containing 10 wt-%Fe and 0'02 wt-%B (IC103), which recovered some ductility at higher temperatures, was not subject to HAZ cracking. Based on these observations, the third y'-Ni3AI based alloy, containing 15 wt-%Hf and 002 wt-%B (IC50), which demonstrated hot ductility behaviour similar to that of IC25, was expected likewise to be susceptible to HAZ cracking. However, this was not the case and was believed to be a result of the higher thermal conductivity of IC50 leading to shallower thermal gradients, so that the imposed thermal stress was less severe and never exceeded the fracture stress. A y'-Ni3AI alloy, when suitably processed either to decrease the severity of thermally induced welding
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

20

r;am and KOfak 30

Joining

of advanced

materials

~
<t:

25 20

APD Structure

d'

1270-0Q [J 1190-FC

.S 15

.g
~ ~
"'0

s::

0 0

10 5 0 0 200

Q)

No APD Structure 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 Temperature,OC of

22

Effect of APD structure on hot ductility Ni3AI + 8 at.%Cr alloy 148,158

stresses, limit the zero ductility range, or increase fracture stress over the range of temperatures encountered in the HAZ, is more resistant to HAZ cracking. The first of these is most readily accomplished by using a preheat or post-heat and by increasing the heat input. Alloying and heat treatment are the only means of improving ductility and fracture stress. Chromium additions to y'-Ni3AI alloys have proven beneficial for both of these latter goals. Work conducted by Edwards et aI.158 has demonstrated that the presence of an antiphase domain (APD) structure in Ni3AI + Cr alloys improves hot ductility and weldability. This APD structure in the alloy containing 8 at.-%Cr can be produced by heating to 1270C and subsequent oil quenching. The presence of an APD structure is effective in dispersing slip and reducing the tendency for intergranular fracture in these alloys, since this is the fracture mode at higher temperatures. In this alloy, the ductility can be improved over a
Aluminium

useful temperature range below 800C, as shown in Fig. 22.148,158 Recently, linear friction welding of cast y'-Ni3AI alloy was also studied at TWI.129 However, difficulties were experienced with cracking of the parent material, although the weld region was defect free. Cracking was attributed to the propagation of small casting defects under the very aggressive mechanical vibrations experienced by the material during the process. Results indicated that the linear friction welding method has potential for defect free welding of y'-Ni3AI. Further work is, however, needed to demonstrate this. Transient liquid phase diffusion bonding (TLPDB) has also recently been demonstrated to be a viable method of joining NiAI based alloys.159,160 Gale and Orel159 satisfactorily bonded NiAI based alloy using a Ni-45Si-32B (wt-%) melt spun ribbon (AWS Bni-3) interlayer. Strum and Henshall160 bonded NiAI by depositing pure nickel and aluminium on two opposing surfaces of a joint by electron beam evaporation, heating to 800C in vacuum, and then holding for 4 h at 1200C under a partial pressure of argon to reduce evaporation losses. Single phase NiAI was formed across the joint. However, variation in composition was not detected and, moreover, no mechanical data were reported. Physical metallurgy of iron aluminides The binary Fe- Ni phase diagram is still not well defined and there are several versions in the literature. Although a number of intermetallics exist in the Fe-AI system (Fig. 23), Fe3AI and FeAI are the compounds of industrial interest. However, the phase boundaries of Fe3AI and FeAI are not accurately known, since
content,

wt.-olo
50 60 70 80 90 100

o
1600
1538 DC

10

20

30

40

1400

1394 DC

L
(aPe)

1200

1.95

yFe)
"",t .' "" " ""
,I ,I ,I ,I II ,I

l
tI

r~

~ ~ s 0 ~
0

1000
912 DC

.'

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800

770 DC

,I

f
652C 99.1

'-;;;;~k-"'""
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600

""

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!
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~

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200 0 10 20 30

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40 50 60

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.:<::
.,

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,'~ "
,I

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::

;:

70

80

90

100

Fe
23
Fe-AI phase diagram Materials Reviews 1998

Aluminium

content, at.-%

Al

International

Vol. 43

NO.1

9am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

21

700 600

100 80

~ 500 0... ~
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c
0

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0 200 400 600 800
Temperature, C

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24

Hot deformation behaviour of iron aluminide alloy FA-129 with composition Fe-O'2C-SCr28AI-O'SNb: initial condition 82 structure (Ref. 148)

these compounds have similar crystal structures; Fe3AI is also an ordered solid solution alloy with a bcc (D03) structure, whereas FeAI exhibits a bcc (B2) structure. Iron based intermetallics have attractive electrical, magnetic, and corrosion resistance properties. Other features, such as the low cost of iron and aluminium and the low density and adequate strength at temperatures below 600C (Fig. 24), make Fe3AI alloys potential candidates for structural applications. Furthermore, they do not contain large quantities of more strategic elements. However, their low ductility at room temperature, a sharp reduction in their strength above 600C, and poor creep performance impeded their use. Binary Fe3AI alloys have been found to be susceptible to embrittlement by water vapour at room temperature. 161 Iron based intermetallics can be alloyed to improve room temperature ductility and it is possible to produce alloys with reasonable properties. This su?ject has been discussed in detail in a revi~w by ~IU and Kumar.133 Studies have shown that IncreasIng the purity of Fe3 Al changes the failure mode from intergranular to transgranular.162,163 In addition, ternary alloying additions, such as boron, zirconium, and molybdenum, improve the ductility of these alloys.164-168 The room temperature ductility of FeAI can also be improved by grain refinement (which is also beneficial to y'-Ni3AI when the grain structure is stabilised with TiB2 particles). High temperature properties can also be improved by alloying with molybdenum, niobium, zirconium, titanium, and TiB2 Joining of iron aluminides The weld ability of Fe3AI alloys is very sensitive to composition and welding parameters.169 Furthermore, excessive fusion zone and HAZ grain growth, which can increase cracking sensitivity, has been observed for Fe3AI GTA weldments.169 Three possible methods have been suggested for improving cracking resistance in Fe3 Al weldments: (i) removal of water vapour from the environment (which is only a problem in GTA welding)

(ii) alloying to decrease yield stress, increase fracture stress, and enhance cross-slip (iii) refining of slip path length using grain size refinement or an APD structure. The weldability of a variety of binary and more complex Fe3 Al based alloys cont.aining. chromiu~, niobium, manganese, and boron In vanous combInations, using electron beam and TIG welding, has been studied by David et ai. 169, 170 Of all the alloys investigated, alloy FA-129 (Fe-15'9AI-5'5Cr-l'ONb0'05C (wt-%)) had the best welding characteristics.170 It was also demonstrated that defect free welds could be produced in this alloy. High cooling rates created fine disordered B2 domain structures in both the HAZ and fusion zone which can result in material which is more resistant to cracking. Therefore, current research is focused on correlating the effects of cooling rate on domain size and cracking resistance. David and Zacharia171 conducted further welding studies of Fe3 Al based alloys and reported that a wide range of compositions could be crack free welded by using electron beam and TIG welding. The alloys contain about 55 wt-%Cr, ab?ut 1 wt-%Z~, 001 wt-%B, and 005 wt_%C in four dIfferent combInations. All the alloys studied were demonstrated to be crack free welded using electron beams. However, the use of TIG welding always produced cracks at high travel speeds for all the alloys, even at lower travel speeds for boron containing alloys. Studies on the electron beam and TI G welding of Fe3 Al based alloys (Fe-8AI + Cr (wt-%)) at TWI129 also showed similar results. Crack free welds were produced by electron beam welding even without use of a preheat. It was observed that the weld metal grains grew epitaxially on HAZ grains and that the fusion zone grains were equiaxed and much finer than the parent material grains. Marginally lower hardness values were observed in the fusion zone (Fig. 25a). Ultimate tensile strength values of 600 MPa and elongations of2-4% were obtained at room temperature. Fracture occurred predominantly at the weld centreline and the fracture mode was intergranular. Crack free welds were also produced by TIG welding (with a travel speed of 105 mm min -1) without the use of a preheat. However, higher travel speeds (120 mm min -1) resulted in transverse cracks. Microstructures similar to those obtained in electron beam welding were observed. The major differences were the increased width of the weld when using TIG welding and the 5-10 times larger grain size in the fusion zone. The increased weld width (wider softened region) is also seen in the hardness profile of the TIG weld (Fig. 25b). Ultimate tensile strength values of 550 MPa and elongations of 70/0 were obtained at room temperature. Failure invariably took place in the fusion zone, at the centre, and the fracture mode was predominantly intergranular. Wilson et al.172 also demonstrated that capacitor discharge spot welding can successfully be used to weld Fe-24AI (at.-.lc alloy. However, no detailed microscopy or mechanical property determinations were conducted. Maziasz et al.173 studied the effect of compositional variations on the TIG weldability of FeAI based alloys containing 024 at.-%B for room temperature
'"V '"V

International

Materials Reviews

1998

Vol. 43

NO.1

22

9am and K09ak 300 280 260 240 220

Joining of advanced materials

(a) 0 EB41 EB47 X EB53

Joining of metal matrix composites


Metal matrix composite (MMC) materials have attracted great interest in recent years owing to their superior strength/weight ratios. These materials have wide fields of potential application as a result of not only their very high specific strength and elastic modulus but also their high resistance to elevated temperature and better wear resistance than many materials. However, the poor formability of MM Cs, arising from their anisotropic properties and stiff reinforcement, considerably hinder their practical application. A MMC consists of two distinctly different materials: (i) the matrix, typically an alloy of aluminium, titanium, magnesium, copper, iron, etc. (ii) the reinforcement, a fibre or an intermetallic compound such as an oxide, carbide, or nitride. The term MMC is nowadays used to encompass metal matrix composites reinforced by particles, whiskers, or either continuous or discontinuous fibres, as well as metal matrix oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) materials. Since these groups of materials have different strengthening mechanisms, the joining phenomena and problems encountered in joining are also different. Of these groups of materials, fibre reinforced MMCs are the most difficult to join in general. The purpose of this section of the review is to provide brief information on the weldability of ODS alloys and MMCs, particularly fibre reinforced MMCs, and the problems involved.
Joining of ODS alloys

If)

C"i

200 180 -15 260


(b)

> ::r:
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-10

-5

10

15

l=:
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240 220 200 180 160


-15

-10

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Distance

10

15

from weld centre, mm

a electron beam welded; b TIG welded

25

Hardness profiles for Fe3AI (Ref. 129)

ductility. They have reported that weldable FeAI alloys can contain small amounts of molybdenum and zirconium. However, boron is very detrimental to weldability of FeAI based alloys, since it causes hot cracking. It is also not known whether additions of boron in smaller quantities could be tolerated. Further work is needed to clarify this aspect.
General comments on nickel and iron base intermetallics

Ordered intermetallic alloys, such as y'-Ni3AI, NiAI, Fe3AI, and FeAI have great potential for applications at elevated temperatures. Some of these alloys can be successfully welded, while others are prone to cracking either during or after welding. Many factors, such as composition and welding parameters and processes, can play an important role in the we1dability of nickel and iron aluminides. In a broad sense, the weldability of nickel and iron aluminides is limited by either subsolidus or a combination of subsolidus HAZ and fusion zone cracking. These phenomena are attributed to inherent low ductility, excessive grain growth, or environmental embrittling mechanisms. Both microand macroalloying may improve weldability. The role of APD substructures, which have been shown to improve hot ductility and weldability in chromium modified y'-Ni3AI alloys, remains to be investigated for iron aluminides. Weldability of ductile intermetallics shows great promise, although a full understanding of their welding metallurgy is lacking. There is also a very limited number of mechanical data reported in the literature. Further work is needed to fully understand the welding of these materials.
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

Alloying can only improve high temperature properties in a certain usable range of temperatures. Simple alloys, even those solid solution strengthened and precipitation hardened, reach the limits of their use below the requirements of many engineering applications. Oxide dispersion strengthened nickel and iron based alloys are potential materials to be used in service at temperatures well above llOOC. In these materials, the high temperature strength is increased by introducing a small, stable oxide dispersoid into the metal matrix (with elongated grain structure providing considerable strength). The fine oxide dispersoids act to pin the dislocation movement in a manner similar to that in the case of second phases in precipitation hardened alloys. For example, mechanically alloyed Incoloy alloy MA 956, which is a ferritic ODS superalloy containing yttrium oxide (yttria) dispersoid, exhibits excellent strength and resistance to corrosion at temperatures up to l260C. Because of the complex nature of the alloy's structure, joining procedures must be carefully designed to produce joints with optimum properties and avoid degradation of the base metal properties. Excessive weld heating of the ODS alloy can cause oxide coalescence to the point that the size of the oxide dispersoid is no longer effective in pinning the dislocations. Melting, however, diminishes the elongated grain structure and leads to an equiaxed grain structure, which results in reduced strength.174 Solid state joining processes therefore offer good potential for successive joining of ODS alloys since

9am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

23

melting of the base metal is avoided. Work by Moore and Glasgow175 has demonstrated that diffusion bonding of a nickel base ODS alloy, Inconel alloy MA 6000, is feasible. Hammelmann et al.176 studied hippingdiffusion bonding of ODS materials, namely MA 754, MA 956, MA 6000, and Incoloy 800H, using plasma sprayed encapsulation and reported that the correct choice of hipping parameters was essential. They suggested that a maximum temperature of 1050C must be used to avoid uncontrolled recrystallisation and recommended hipping pressure ranges of 150-200 MPa for MA 956 and Incoloy 800H, of 250-350 MPa for MA 754, and of 380-400 MPa for MA 6000. Use of transient liquid phase (TLP) diffusion bonding is also promising in maintaining the parent alloy microstructure in the joint region. Recent work has demonstrated that transient liquid phase diffusion bonding of ferritic ODS alloys, namely MA 957, MA 956, and PM 2000, using a novel amorphous foil based on an Fe-B-Si composition, can be successfully applied.177 However, the results showed that success in achieving grain growth across TLP bonds is not only dependent on the composition but is also strongly dependent on the recrystallisation behaviour of individual alloy types, possibly owing to differences in prior thermomechanical processing. Results thus far indicate that solid state welding processes are excellent candidates for joining ODS alloys. Since no melting of the base metal is involved, the problems of grain structure alteration and deslagging of the dispersoid can be avoided. Accordingly, solid state joints in ODS alloys exhibit properties superior to those of fusion weldments. Considerable research has been and continues to be conducted to define suitable solid state joining procedures for ODS alloys. Fusion processes have also been explored for joining ODS alloys. Gas tungsten arc (GTA) welding is commonly used for joining of sheet metals and, thus, can be applied to joining of ODS alloys. Both autogenous and filler metal weldments have been made with alloy MA 956 sheet. However, it must be remembered that the alloy is ferritic and, therefore, exhibits a ductilebrittle transition temperature. Consequently, a preheat of about 200C is recommended. Furthermore, slow cooling may be required for complex welded structures to avoid post-weld cracking. Even then, the grain structure of the weldment becomes equiaxed whereas that of the base metal is still elongated. In addition, the dispersoid floats out of the weld area while molten, e.g. when deslagging. As a result, GTA weldments exhibit strength well below that of the base metal. In many cases, design considerations can account for the lower strength by placing weldments in areas of lower stress and/or temperature. The GTA welding technique can also be used for applications where corrosion resistance at high temperatures is required rather than strength. Flash butt welding of alloy MA 956 leads to a weldment structure which is to some extent comparable to that of GTA weldments. In resistance spot welding of alloy MA 956, grain growth in the weldment in the opposite direction to that of the grain structure of the base metal occurs, which results in inferior weld properties. Resistance seam welding

results in agglomeration and rejection of the dispersoid in the weldment and, thus, also leads to inferior weld properties. General comments on ODS alloys Power beam welding processes, such as electron beam and laser welding, melt a minimum of base metal as a result of the concentrated heat application in these processes. Porosity and dispersoid agglomeration can be significantly reduced and, thus, weldments of better quality than those produced by other fusion processes can be realised. Joining of ODS alloys by power beam processes has not been widely applied so far; suitable procedures for joining of ODS alloys by power beam processes as well as diffusion bonding are yet to be fully established. Joining of reinforced MMCs Reinforced MMCs are of very great interest in meeting the demands of high performance structures owing to their high strength and low density. The lower manufacturing cost and ability to shape discontinuously reinforced composites using standard forming processes such as forging, rolling, and extrusion make this class of MMC especially attractive for aerospace, automotive, and electronic applications. Presently, suitable powder metallurgy and casting techniques are available for production of MMCs, however, the difficulty of joining these materials, particularly fibre reinforced MMCs, has to be overcome. Fibre reinforced MMCs which are attractive high performance materials with potentially wide application suffer especially from the difficulty of joining fibres at the joint; joining of these popular structural materials is of paramount importance. To date, extensive work has been conducted on the joining of fibre reinforced MMCs, especially the aluminium matrix composites, whereas work on the joining of other MMCs has been limited. An excellent review on joining of MMCs was produced by Ellis.178 An urgent need exists to establish new joining techniques to produce reliable joints to use the full potential of fibre reinforced MM Cs. As pointed out above, fibre reinforced MMCs are the most difficult to join in general. Taking into consideration the nature of anisotropic fibre reinforced MMCs, it is vitally important to prevent melting (e.g. using solid state diffusion welding) or at least to minimise the melted region (e.g. using power beam processes) in order to join these materials satisfactorily. However, it is now well established that power beam (i.e. electron beam (EB) and laser beam (LB)) weld processes run a high risk of causing Al4 C3 formation when welding SiC reinforced aluminium matrix composites.179 Both the elevated temperature and pressure used in joining might affect the weld properties. Typical degradations of MMCs that might take place during joining are:180 (i) deterioration of strength at the fibre/matrix interface owing to formation of brittle phases at the interface at elevated temperature (ii) degradation in strength of MMCs owing to destruction or change in configuration of the
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

24

9am and K09ak 150 140,


&-I.

Joining of advanced materials

Weld interface
--G-g

130
;>

a.-s.A

'"1i:: .- --,_.

7-A ..
As welded AfterPBHT

::r::
(l,)

120 110

en en
s::

]
::r::

100 90 80 70

\1
-30 -10

----

60
-50 10 30 50 Distance from contact section, mm 26 Measured hardness profiles in heat affected zone of friction welded AI/SiC metal matrix composites in T6 temper condition 181 27 Schematic illustration of discontinuity of fibres at bonding interface of metal matrix composite reinforced with fibres 182

fibre caused by plastic deformation of the matrix during the applied force used in the joining process (Fig. 26) (iii) poor joint efficiency owing to discontinuity in the fibre and to the change in configuration of the fibre in the reaction layer at the bonding interface (Fig. 27). Use of conventional fusion welding processes to join MMCs has a major difficulty caused by the problems related to porosity and clustering of reinforcing particles (e.g. SiC) in the weld region. Since solid state diffusion bonding and friction welding do not involve melting of the parent plate, they can be considered to be ideal joining processes for aluminium based MMCs. Degradation of the strength of MMCs owing to formation of a brittle phase at the fibre/matrix interface can be typically experienced in aluminium matrix composites after heating to a sufficiently high temperature. For example, brittle AIB2 forms at the fibre/matrix interface in AI-B composite when it is heated to a temperature above about 425C, leading to the deterioration of strength.183 In a similar manner, carbon fibres react with the aluminium matrix in AI-C composite and form brittle Al4 C3 at the fibre/matrix interface at temperatures above about 575C.184 In order to avoid the reaction between the fibre and the matrix, fibres are sometimes coated with carbides such as SiC, TiC, or ZrC. Although these coatings retard the reaction at the interface, brittle reaction products will still form after prolonged heating. Since plastic deformation of the matrix causes destruction or change in configuration of the fibre leading to deterioration of joint strength, joining techniques requiring a considerable amount of deformation are not convenient for fibre reinforced MMCs. Consequently, possibilities for success are limited, probably to solid state pressure bonding and friction welding. However, friction welding might be successfully applied in the case of an MMC containing short fibres or oxide particles as the strengthening phase. Although diffusion bonding can minimise plastic deformation during bonding, significant plastic deformation at the faying interface is still required to achieve complete atomic joining. Even this deformaInternational Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

tion might cause damage and destruction of the fibre, leading to degradation of the original properties of the MMC at the joint. The possible interfaces developing at the joining interface of the MMC are fibre/fibre, fibre/matrix, and matrix/matrix. It is rather easy to generate reactions at the matrix/matrix interface, while difficulties may sometimes be experienced at the fibre/matrix interface. However, it is quite difficult to obtain real bonding at the fibre/fibre interface. As a result of discontinuity, a decrease in joint efficiency will inevitably occur at the joint interface. The decrease in joint strength in the case of MMCs strengthened with long fibres is a considerable problem. Although diffusion bonding is an essential technique for the primary forming of MMCs, attempts to use the method for secondary processing have not produced satisfactory results. All the attempts to join aluminium matrix MMCs particularly yielded poor joint efficiency. The large deformation and/or high temperature required to bond aluminium or aluminium alloy matrix MMCs, to eliminate the effect of refractory oxide film covering the surface (an effective diffusion barrier), is responsible for the poor joint properties. Nevertheless, diffusion bonding of aluminium based MMCs is still possible, in particular by using appropriate interlayers, which can result in TLP bonding. Several attempts have been made to improve the joinability of aluminium matrix MMCs. For example, silver plating of the joint surface has been demonstrated as an effective way of improving joint strength. The diffusion bonding of a 20%B/7093 butt joint with a doubler of the same material failed by shear at a tensile stress level in the base material of 240 MPa.185 The effect of surface finishing of the joint surface on the joint strength was also investigated and electrolytical etching of the joining surface was reported to yield an increase in the joint strength in A1203/ A1.186 Particular success has been reported with 8090/SiC MMC187 and this may in part be caused by the effect of lithium in destabilising the alumina layer. Use of

~am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

25

insert metals that form liquid during bonding by reacting with aluminium matrix MMCs has also been investigated.186 Among the insert metals investigated for aluminium matrix MMCs, silver and copper, which form eutectic by reacting with aluminium at the bonding temperature, are effective. With a liquidus temperature lower than that of aluminium, AI-Si alloy can also be used as an insert metal, although the mechanical properties are generally poor. It should also be noted that diffusion bonding temperatures are usually at or above solution treatment temperatures, and a full post-heat treatment is required to generate optimum properties. Some aluminium MMCs have insufficient hot strength to be able to withstand diffusion bonding without excessive deformation, which is a further limitation on the flexibility of the process. Nevertheless, diffusion bonding of aluminium matrix MMCs is possible, but not with all alloys. There is, however, considerable scope for optimising interlayers to promote TLP bonding. Resistance welding has been applied mainly to aluminium matrix MMCs. The heating time in resistance welding can be reduced and hence the reaction between the matrix and the fibre can be minimised. Moreover, void or crack formation can normally be prevented by the pressure during welding. Consequently, if the welding conditions are properly selected, sufficiently high joining strength can be obtained with resistance welding. For example, a resistance welded joint of B/6061 fractured at 900/0 strength of the base material in a shear test.188 It has been reported that capacitor discharge welding can be used for joining of SiC/AI (40 vol.- 0/0 SiC particulate reinforced aluminium).189 Since this welding technique involves an extremely short heating time of 01 J.lS, the reaction between the matrix and the fibre can practically be avoided. Microstructural observations have revealed that the joints produced with this technique include neither defects, such as cracks and voids, nor a reaction layer between the matrix and the fibre. Although the properties of these joints have not been investigated, this welding technique seems to have great potential for joining MMCs. In addition to the problems described above, fusion welding of MMCs involves: (i) decomposition or dissolution of fibres at high temperature during welding (ii) occurrence of weld cracks and voids owing to poor wettability between the fibre and the molten metal. This does not mean that the appropriate selection of \velding methods and parameters would not make feasible application of fusion welding to certain kinds of MMC. For instance, an aluminium based alumina particulate reinforced MMC, namely AA 6061 aluminium alloy matrix containing 20 vol.-%Al203 particles, was successfully welded using the gas metal arc (GMA) process with conventional 16 mm diameter ER 5356 filler alloy.190 It was demonstrated that alumina does not react with molten aluminium during GMA welding. However, a post-weld heat treatment (PWHT) was found to be necessary to achieve maximum mechanical properties. It has also been reported that low heat input welding with a

wide groove enables 1039/200/oB to be joined successfully,185 although a filler having good wettability with the fibres is necessary to ensure a sound joint free from weld defects such as cracks and voids. Another experimental result has demonstrated that it is possible to successfully join SiC/6061 composite by GTA welding with the use of 4043 alloy filler.191 A C/AI composite can also be joined by GTA welding with the use of 4043 alloy filler.192 However, an SiC/AI joint made by GTA welding without filler exhibited lots of voids and cracks owing to gas absorbed in the base material and poor fluidity of the weld metal. In order to minimise voids and cracks, degassing of materials under vacuum before welding and use of filler metal are recommended.191 In other GTA and GMA weldability work on a 6061 aluminium matrix composite reinforced with 25 vol.- 0/0B4C particles (6061/25 vol.-%B4 Cp), no decrease of fracture strength as a result of GTA welding was observed.193 It was also reported that the G MA process produced better quality welds than the GTA process and that preheating at 93C resulted in a slower cooling rate and, thus, less porosity in the GMA weld. As pointed out above, friction welding might be successfully applied in the case of an MMC containing short fibres or oxide particles as the strengthening phase. Several variants of the technique have been used to join these materials, such as both inertia and continuous drive rotary friction welding and linear friction welding.194 For instance, Bollat195 demonstrated that SiC fibre reinforced aluminium could be successfully joined to an aluminium alloy by the inertia welding process. Inertia-friction welding was also conducted on a 6061 aluminium matrix MMC reinforced with 15 vol.-%Al203 particles in the T6 temper condition.196 It was shown that the similar and dissimilar welds were sound and free from any discontinuities. However, the joint properties were evaluated using simple transverse tensile and bending tests and the results showed limited ductility of the weld zones and that failure locations were at or near the weld interface. A more recent investigation has also demonstrated that continuous drive friction welding of an SiC particulate reinforced aluminium matrix MMC is feasible.181 A decrease in the heat affected zone (HAZ) strength as a result of dissolution of hardening precipitates within the aluminium matrix was observed, although full HAZ strength recovery was achieved by use of an appropriate PWHT, which involved solution heat treatment at 535C followed by artificially aging at 160C for 10 h, as shown in Fig. 26. Although a sound weld metal free from defects such as voids or cracks might be obtained by the above mentioned GMA and GTA welding procedures, the joint properties of MMCs made by fusion welding rarely match those of fibre reinforced MMC base mateial. Joint properties are governed by the weld metal not strengthened with fibres. Moreover, welding studies conducted on SiC/AI particulate reinforced composite indicate a problem of loss of SiC reinforcement in the fusion zone, with the consequent formation of Al4 C3 rendering the fusion zone brittle.189,191,197 Figure 28 illustrates the sharp
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

26

l;am and K09ak


250 225
(a)

Joining of advanced materials

200
175
150

In another study, the feasibility of laser welding of continuous fibre reinforced aluminium composites was investigated.201 The results suggested that a critical output power existed which determined the transition between welding and cutting.
General comments on MMCs

125 100

:>
~
~
(1)

75

50
-5 250 225 200 175 150 125 100
75

-4

-3

-2

-1

.
~

(b)

1
.~

50
-5

1--E~ri.aJ
-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4

I
5

While efficient production and shaping processes for MMCs have been developed, little fundamental research has been accomplished on effective joining methods of MMC materials. Although the joint efficiencies reported are improving, they still remain below the level to fully exlpoit the potential of these materials. It is now widely accepted that thermal joining processes are more promising for achieving better joint strength levels, particularly by shortening the thermal cycle and, hence, the time available for reactions responsible for degradation of the joint strength. Moreover, further work is needed as there is inadequate knowledge of the metallurgical phenomena occurring during joining of these materials and also very few data are available on the mechanical properties of the joints or their performance in high temperature, high wear, or environmentally aggressive conditions.

Distance, mm
a as welded, travel speed 2 m min-1, Ar flowrate 10 L min-'; b after low temperature aging, travel speed 1 m min -\ aged for 24 h at 400F (200C)

Joining of other advances materials


Nickel base superalloys

28

Variation of hardness in LB welding SiC/2024 {Ref. 197)

increase in the hardness owing to formation of brittle A14C3.197 The welding of SiC reinforced aluminium matrix MM C must, therefore, be carried out under conditions of minimal superheating to prevent formation of brittle Al4 C3. Recent investigation has shown that EB welding is a possible process for improving joint properties of MMCs, because the fibre free area is rather narrow. However, the joint efficiency of a 6061/50 vol.-%B joint made by EB welding with AI-Si filler remained as low as 190/0in the case of a squire groove butt joint made with one weld from each side.198 A study by Katayama 199showed that laser beam welding performed on 15 vol.-%SiCp/2024 at a low heat input did not produce brittle Al4C3 and did not alter the distribution of SiC particulates in the fusion zone. Another investigation of laser welding used both a continuous wave (CW) CO2 laser and a pulsed Nd-YAG laser at various travel speeds and energy inputs to weld an SiC particulate reinforced aluminium matrix MMC (A356 aluminium alloy matrix reinforced with 15 vol.-%SiC particles).20oThe results demonstrated that use of laser processing at low energy inputs and short thermal cycles precluded dissolution of the SiC reinforcement and subsequent formation of the deleterious Al4C3 phase. It was also observed that microstructural phases produced in pulsed Nd-YAG welds were similar to those produced in CW CO2 welds except that they were generally finer.
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

Superalloys, which are also referred to as high temperature alloys, are used at temperatures of 540C and above as a result of their excellent high temperature properties. Outstanding properties of these alloys include: (i) high strength at elevated temperatures (ii) resistance to environmental attack, including nitridation, carbonisation, oxidation, and sulphidation (iii) excellent resistance to creep, creep rupture strength, toughness, and metallurgical stability (iv) useful thermal expansion characteristics (v) resistance to thermal fatigue and corrosion. Although there is intensive research and development activity to replace nickel base superalloys with lighter materials, they are still widely used for many applications in aerospace industry. Nickel base superalloys possess superior high temperature properties, but they have the disadvantage of relatively high density. Superalloys comprise solid solution strengthened and precipitation hardened nickel, iron, and cobalt base alloys; the present review only addresses nickel base superalloys. Superalloys can be divided into two main groups: (i) solid solution strengthened alloys (ii) precipitation hardened alloys. Both the solid solution and the precipitation hardening groups of alloys are typically austenitic (fcc phase, often referred to as y). Cobalt, iron, chromium, molybdenum, tungsten, and tantalum are all solid solution hardeners in nickel base alloys, whereas chromium and molybdenum are the main solid solution hardeners in iron base superalloys. The atomic diameters of these elements differ from that of nickel by 1-130/0. Lattice expansion owing to atomic diameter oversize

r;am and K09ak

Joining of advanced materials

27

(size factor) can be related to the hardening observed. Above O'6Tm, which is the range of high temperature creep where Tm is the melting temperature, diffusional processes determine the deformation and slow diffusion elements such as molybdenum and tungsten are the most effective solid solution strengtheners in nickel base superalloys. The precipitation hardening alloys contain a second phase, y'-Ni3(AI,Ti), which is produced by means of controlled heat treatment. Dispersion of this second phase is achieved by additions of aluminium, titanium, and niobium. Precipitation of y'-Ni3(AI,Ti), which is the principal strengthening phase in many nickel and Ni-Fe base superalloys, in a nickel matrix provides significant strengthening to the material. This unique intermetallic phase has an fcc structure similar to that of the matrix and a lattice constant having 1% or less mismatch with the lattice constant of the y matrix. Such close matching results in low surface energy and, therefore, provides long term stability. The y' phase imparts great stiffness to these alloys at room temperature and up to the upper limit of their aging temperature ranges. Strengthening of alloys by y' precipitation is a function of y' particle size. The hardness of the alloy increases with particle size growth, which is a function of temperature and time. The volume percentage of y' precipitated is also important because high temperature strength increases with the amount of the phase present. The amount of y' formed is a function of the hardener content of the alloy; aluminium, titanium, niobium, and tantalum are strong y' formers. However, it should be remembered that these materials lose their strength rapidly when held at service temperatures above their aging ranges as a result of the agglomeration of their second phases. This condition, commonly referred to as overaging, results in relatively large y' particles. In order to retard coarsening, alloying elements (which increase the volume percentage of y') or high partitioning, slow diffusing elements such as niobium or tantalum (which provide for the formation of the desired precipitate) can be added. Moreover, the y' phase can transform to other Ni3X precipitates if the alloy is supersaturated in titanium, niobium, or tantalum. Titanium rich metastable y' can transform to Ni3 Ti or an hcp 11 phase. Formation of '7 phase, which is found in iron, cobalt, and nickel base superalloys with high titanium/aluminium ratios after extended exposure, can alter mechanical properties. Excessive niobium content results in metastable 11 transforming to y" (a body centred tetragonal phase which is the principal strengthening phase in Inconel 718) and ultimately to the equilibrium Ni3Nb phase (an orthorhombic phase observed in overaged Inconel 718). Both y' and y" can be present at peak hardness, whereas transformation to the coarse, elongated orthorhombic Ni3 Nb results in a decrease in hardness. The types of phases precipitated are functions of alloy chemistry and heat treatments before service or the temperature-time exposure in application. Carbide strengthening is another strengthening mechanism in superalloys. Nickel is not a carbide former itself. Carbides are formed by reaction of carbon with alloying elements in nickel; the carbides

most frequently found in nickel base alloys are M C, M6C, M7C3, and M23C6 (where M is the metallic carbide forming element or elements). Normally, MC is a large blocky carbide, random in distribution, and generally not desired. The M6 C carbides are also blocky; formed in grain boundaries they can be used to control grain size, but precipitated in a WidmansHitten pattern throughout the grain they can reduce ductility and rupture life. Predominantly Cr7C3, M7C3 carbides form intergranularly and are beneficial if precipitated as discrete particles. They can cause embrittlement if they agglomerate, forming continuous grain boundary films. This condition will occur over an extended period of time at high temperatures. The M23 C6 carbides usually tend to precipitate as discrete particles at grain boundaries and are influential in determining the mechanical properties of nickel base alloys, e.g. enhancing rupture properties. Desired carbide structures and morphologies can be attained by heat treatment. The alloy chemistry, its prior processing history, and the heat treatment given to the material all influence carbide precipitation and ultimately performance of the alloy. Physical metallurgy of nickel base superalloys Most solid solution (non-precipitation hardening) non-ferrous alloys exhibit sufficient ductility in the as welded condition. These materials, e.g. Incone1 625, can readily be joined using conventional welding processes. The GTA welding procedure for nickel based superalloys is already established and commonly used in industry; there is more extensive experience of GTA welding Inconel 625 than titanium and such alloys usually do not require pre-weld or postweld heat treatments. Resistance heated diffusion bonding is, however, unsuitable for joining Incone1 625 plates owing to the rapid formation of an oxide film at the bonding interface. The potential problem in welding these alloys is grain size. As grain size of material increases, weldability decreases, although larger grain sizes are generally required for better creep properties. Therefore, a minimum grain size is specified for maximum creep resistance in some applications. The compromise normally implemented is to limit welding processes to those methods that use lower heat input such as LB and EB welding. For precipitation hardenable alloys, the thermal cycle(s) introduced by the welding process can significantly alter the microstructure of the base material in the weld region, thus markedly influencing their properties. The heating cycle involved in welding can result in the solutionising of age hardening constituents (base metal degradation) which will reduce the strength of the material. Temperatures in regions immediately next to the fusion zone will reach and exceed the recrystallisation temperature, resulting in grain growth and elimination of the retained strain energy from thermomechanical processing. Such effects can significantly alter the properties of the weldment. These alloys are usually welded in the annealed (or solution treated) condition and are subsequently aged to precipitate the second phase. The physical metallurgy of precipitation hardenable nickel base superalloys that affects we1dability is,
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however, centred on the precipitates used for age hardening (y' and y") and those associated with solidification and solidification segregation (primarily carbides and Laves phases). There are two types of cracking encountered in welding these alloys, namely strain age cracking and liquation cracking. Age hardening causes problems "associated with strain age (i.e. reheat) cracking, whereas carbides and Laves phases can initiate melting and lead to cracking of grain boundaries in the HAZ (liquation cracking). Nickel base superalloys that are strengthened by y'-Ni3(AI,Ti) precipitates are more prone to strain age cracking than are those strengthened by y" - Ni3 (AI,Ti,Nb,Mo) precipitates because of the more sluggish reaction of the y" phase. Inconel 718 is strengthened by y" phase and may, therefore, not be extremely susceptible to strain age cracking. For example, alloy 718 which is hardened by the more sluggish reaction of the y" phase is not prone to strain age cracking. However, alloy 718 does have problems when welded using conventional GTA welding, including microcracking in the HAZ, very poor impact strength in the fusion zone, poor fusion in the root pass, and heat to heat variation in weld penetration. Initially, most of the welding research associated with nickel base superalloys was carried out on wrought forms of alloys such as Rene 41, Inconel 718, Waspaloy, and Inconel X. Several of these findings for the wrought nickel base superalloys will also apply for the cast nickel base superalloys. Boucher et al.202 first correlated the grain size of the wrought superalloys to HAZ cracking. They showed that grain sizes smaller than ASTM 6 would provide resistance against HAZ microcracks in alloys such as Waspaloy and 718, but the grain size of investment cast structures can not generally be controlled to such fine grain sizes. However, aspects such as tramp element contamination, constitutional liquation of carbides, and strain age cracking can be applied in some form to the cast welding metallurgy of the wrought compositions. The original work done by Pease203 regarding tramp elements such as sulphur, phosphorus, lead, etc. was excellent and still is a good guide to follow with respect to cast alloy tramp element limits. The maximum specification levels for the elements sulphur, phosphorus, oxygen, and nitrogen in cast alloy 718 are 0'005, 0005, 0'002, and 00035 respectively. Kelly204,20shas evaluated the effect of the tramp elements on the susceptibility of cast alloy 718 and Rene 220C to HAZ micro cracking. He reported that the maximum specification levels are adequate to prevent HAZ micro cracking. Strain age cracking was first investigated and understood for the wrought alloy Rene 41 by Berry and Hughes, 206,207 giving results that can be applied to cast compositions. They demonstrated that strain age cracking was an aspect of the y' aging reaction in the HAZ of weldments. This reaction might occur during welding or in subsequent heat treatment, but regardless of the timing. The y' precipitation in the matrix results in strengthening of the matrix so that all the solidification strains of the weldment are transferred to the grain boundaries in the HAZ causing them to fail and form microcracks. Elements which adversely affect strain age cracking are carbon,
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

7I3C

B1900 INIOO R'IOS Mar-M-200 AF2-1DA

/Udimet 700

~ ~ ~.. ~ ~ ~ ~ 0
Q)

rEf

Astroloy

<

Ti content, wt-% 29 Plot of weldability v. AI and Ti content based on strain age cracking susceptibility: after Prager and Shira;208 includes several Ni base superalloys added by Kelly209

sulphur, and boron. Carbides tend to be initiation sites, while both sulphur and boron were correlated with cracking by Berry and Hughes, but no mechanism was determined. Prager and Shira208 proposed the plot in Fig. 29, which was modified by Kelly209to include alloys such as Rene 220C, Inconel 939 and 909, and Rene 108, which demonstrates that the phenomenon of strain age cracking is caused by the total Ti + Al content. As illustrated in Fig. 29, both Waspaloy and Rene 41 fall just below the safe limit and, therefore, require controlled grain size and special heat treatment for welding. Several cast nickel base superalloys such as Inconel 100 and 713C are also included in Fig. 29. Both titanium and aluminium form y', the nickel base superalloy strengthening phase that forms rapidly at certain temperatures. If the total Ti + Al content is kept below 4 wt_%, strain age cracking problems will be avoided. The most effective means of preventing strain age cracking is to overage the material before welding or to use controlled heating and cooling cycles for welding and subsequent heat treatment. Constitutional liquation of phases found in the HAZ of weldments is another phenomenon that was first proposed by Pepe and Savage210and later discovered to be active in the liquation reaction of carbides in nickel base superalloys by Duvall and Owczarski.211 Enrichment of niobium, titanium, and molybdenum have been reported by several investigators to cause liquation cracking in nickel base superalloys.211-216This process occurs when phases that form during solidification, such as Me carbides and Laves phases, initiate melting in the HAZ during welding and spread along the grain boundaries. The melting, often referred to as liquation, occurs as a result of a reaction between the dissolving precipitate and the matrix, resulting in liquid grain boundary films in the HAZ, well away from the fusion zone. Such a location prevents backfilling and promotes

9am and Kor;ak liquation cracking. The fact that liquation from precipitates can extend well away from the fusion zone not only increases the chance of liquation cracking but also increases the potential length of the crack, accentuating the stress intensity of the crack. The liquid film is incapable of absorbing the strain produced as a result of the contraction of the liquid metal in the fusion zone during solidification and therefore causes the grain boundaries it occupies to separate and form HAZ microcracks. Such cracking may be termed liquation cracking, hot cracking, or microfissuring. Cieslak et a1.217,218 investigated the solidification of alloy 625, a nickel base alloy containing relatively little niobium and practically no titanium or aluminium, and reported that this alloy, even with reduced silicon content but with just 35 wt-%Nb, continued to have Ni2Nb Laves phase as its terminal solidification phase. This is an indication that the as cast structures of any nickel base superalloy containing niobium would be expected to have the Laves phase present in the HAZ of any weldment, which leads to a eutectic reaction with the nickel matrix that can cause HAZ microcracks. Furthermore, before formation of the Laves phase, alloy 625 formed NbC, which would provide a means of generating a carbide constitutionalliquation reaction in the absence of the Laves phase. In fact, MC carbide (NbC) and Laves phase (Ni2 Nb) were reported to form in the HAZ of Incone1 625 weldments.218 Wlodek219 showed that silicon stabilises this niobium rich Laves phase. Cieslak220 also reported that for Inconel 625, low niobium content heats will be less susceptible to hot cracking than high niobium content heats. It was also reported that carbon alloying additions to the niobium bearing alloys promoted the formation of the y-MC (NbC) constituent at the expense of the y Laves constituent. Silicon, however, promoted formation of the y Laves constituent with or without the presence of carbon and promoted formation of a y-M6C constituent at low carbon levels. Additionally, Knorovsky et al.221 have reported that both the Laves phase and NbC formed in alloy 718 on solidification, while Baeslack et al.222 demonstrated that a Ni2 Ta Laves phase can form in tantalum containing alloys. Duvall et al. 211,212identified carbides in several alloys and Pease203 proposed that zirconium will form low melting phases in nickel base alloys. In the alloys containing a total of greater than 4 wt-% Ti + AI, the normal strain age cracking problem reported for wrought alloys would also be a concern even if liquation cracking is avoided. Kelly204,209 has reported that boron is the most influential element in the formation of HAZ microcracks. However, it can not be dispensed with since it is required in nickel base superalloys for intermediate temperature strength and ductility. It appears that boron by itself does not rupture the grain boundaries of the HAZ; however, it is directly involved in an as yet undefined reaction that prepares the HAZ grain boundaries to be wet by any low melting constituent that is present. Until the role of boron in the grain boundary reactions is well understood, it can only be cautiously suggested that the lower the boron content the better the weld ability.

Joining of advanced materials

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Baeslack et al.222 demonstrated that by increasing the eutectic reaction temperature of the alloy system the tendency for HAZ micro cracking will be reduced. For instance, by replacing niobium with tantalum in alloy 718 the eutectic reaction temperature increases from 1185 to 1225C. Other factors, such as large grain size,202,215,223-225 heat treatment, and high impurity levels203-205,223,226-232 may also promote HAZ cracking in superalloys. It is also worth noting that HAZ micro cracking is apparently a function of both the boron at the grain boundaries and the lowest liquating temperature phase reaction present in the system. In the absence of a Laves phase, carbide constitutional liquation would determine HAZ microcracking. Kelly204 has reported that liquation of carbides in the HAZ of nickel base superalloy weldments occurs at higher temperatures than the Laves phase eutectic reaction in alloy 718 and it is likely that this would be valid for other Laves containing alloys. The welding metallurgy of cast nickel base superalloys is further complicated by the fact that most castings are heat treated in some manner before welding to relieve casting stresses. This might lead to the formation of low melting temperature grain boundary films. For this reason, it is a good rule to avoid thermal cycles that might lead to liquation, i.e. application of a lower thermal cycle just sufficient to relieve casting stresses, or to leave strain age prone alloys in the solution condition for welding. Joining of nickel base superalloys The GTA welding procedure for nickel base alloys is already established and commonly used in industry. There is also more extensive experience of GTA welding Incone1 625 than titanium. Maak and Tinkler233 reported that EB welding is a feasible process for joining thick plates (> 127 mm) of Incone1 625, which is a solid solution alloy. It should be noted that there is no published LB weld ability study of Inconel 625. Although it has not been well demonstrated, there is no indication that solid solution alloys may present any major difficulty in welding by the LB process. This therefore needs to be investigated. Welding of precipitation hardenable superalloys is, however, much more complicated, particularly that of crack sensitive alloys. In a study of the weldability of Haynes alloy 242 (a Ni-Mo-Cr superalloy), it was reported234 that the hot cracking resistance of alloy 242 based on varestraint testing is better than that of Inconel 718 and slightly less than that of Carpenter Custom Age 625 Plus. However, when compared with other alloys derived from the Ni-Mo-Cr system, alloy 242 appears to have one of the lowest hot cracking resistances. Mills235,236 has investigated the effect of different PWHT procedures on the mechanical properties of Incone1 718 weldments, including tensile strength, ductility, and fracture toughness. Two different heat treatment schedules, conventional heat treatment (consisting of annealing for 1 h at 954C, air cooling to room temperature, followed by aging for 8 h at 718C, furnace cooling to 621C, holding for 18 h, and air cooling to room temperature) and modified heat treatment (comprising solution treating for 1 h
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at 1093C, cooling to 718C at 55 K h - \ holding for 4 h, cooling to 621C at 55 K h - \ holding for 16 h, and air cooling to room temperature) have been used as PWHT. Both heat treatment schedules resulted in similar tensile properties comparable with base metal strength and ductility values, whereas the as welded material displayed lower strength levels and higher ductilities relative to those observed in the heat treated welds. However, both heat treatment schedules decreased the fracture toughness KIc of the as welded material (KIc = 160, 183, and 228 kJ m -2 at room temperature, 427C, and 538C respectively). The modified heat treatment produced higher fracture toughness (KIc = 141, 117, and 100 kJ m -2 at room temperature, 427C, and 538C respectively) than the conventional heat treatment (KIc = 21, 32, and 32 kJ m - 2 at room temperature, 427C, and 538C respectively). David et al.237,238 have recently studied the weldability of single crystal nickel base superalloys (PWA 1480). They reported that these alloys exhibit a propensity for cracking and that crack free welds could be made over a very narrow range of welding conditions with a 500C preheat. Furthermore, the loss of single crystal nature in the weld zone was encountered, which may degrade the weld properties. Laser welding (using a pulsed Nd- YAG laser) of some nickel base superalloys, namely Inconel 600, 718, and 82, has also been investigated.239 No cracking was observed in Inconel 82, whereas Inconel 600 and 718 did crack. Busch and Kunze240 have, however, reported crack free weldments of Inconel 718 by both LB and EB welding processes. The type of laser beam was not specified. The y carbide and y Laves eutectics can be suppressed by LB and EB welding processes, owing to rapid solidification. This was recently demonstrated for Inconel 718 by Gobbi et al.241,242 Heat affected zone cracking can also be minimised by optimising welding parameters to reduce the dimension of the bead nailhead. The use of Nd-YAG pulsed lasers could prevent microfissuring easily by producing better bead profiles.241 Power beam (LB and EB) welding processes can be successfully applied in conjunction with appropriate metallurgical measures to avoid liquation cracking.
General comments on nickel base superalloys

Conventional welding processes have been shown to produce crack free sound joints in several superalloys. Some successes in power beam welding of superalloys have been reported. However, there is still a need for further research to obtain a full understanding of the relationship between the welding parameters and the performance of the power beam joints of these alloys. Evaluation of the mechanical properties of the power beam welds has also not yet been fully completed for these alloys. Limited data on the performance of power beam superalloy joints have been reported.
AI-Li alloys

Some nickel base alloys, particularly solid solution alloys, can be successfully welded without difficulty and precipitation hardenable alloys are prone to strain age cracking or HAZ liquation. Many factors, such as composition, grain size, prior heat treatments, welding parameters, and welding processes, can play an important role in determining the weldability of these alloys. For instance, applying a conventional arc welding process (high heat input), particularly to a coarse grain material, can frequently result in HAZ micro- and macrofissures caused by eutectic formation. The weldability of precipitation hardenable alloys is limited by either strain age cracking (not a problem when the strengthening phase is y") or HAZ liquation owing to the presence of carbide and/or Laves phases.
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

Aluminium alloys can be divided into two main groups, namely non-heat treatable and heat treatable. Non-heat treatable wrought aluminium alloys include lxxx alloys, 3xxx alloys, 4xxx alloys containing only silicon, and 5xxx alloys. These alloys can only be strengthened by solid solution hardening, cold working, and grain refinement. From the standpoint of engineering applications, the most important nonheat treatable aluminium alloys are the 5xxx series alloys. They are used in applications where moderate strength levels are required, such as in the automotive industry, for pressure vessels, and in components for marine and cryogenic service. The relatively high strength of these alloys is provided by solid solution hardening from magnesium. More importantly, magnesium promotes work hardening by lowering the stacking fault energy, thus reducing dynamic recovery. Heat treatable aluminium alloys exhibit low density and corrosion resistance and good strength .and toughness levels. Consequently, they are used in a wide range of engineering applications, which include aerospace, transport, shipbuilding, tankage, and piping industries. The commercial wrought heat treatable aluminium alloys include the 2xxx (AI-Cu or AI-Cu-Mg), 6xxx (AI-Mg-Si), and 7xxx (AI-Zn-Mg) series alloys. The high strength of heat treatable aluminium alloys is provided by the finely dispersed precipitates that form during aging heat treatments. For example, the precipitation sequence in the AI-Cu system starts with the saturated solid solution developing solute clusters referred to as GP (copper rich) zones. This is followed by the formation of transitional (non-equilibrium or metastable) precipitates of approximate composition Al2 Cu (8' and 8"). The final structure consists of equilibrium precipitates, e.g. 8 phase Al2 Cu, which do not contribute to precipitation strengthening. The GP zones are more resistant to movement of dislocations through the lattice and hence are the most effective strengtheners. In practice, hardening in high strength aluminium alloys is achieved by a combination of GP zones and relatively widely spaced, semicoherent or incoherent precipitates. Some alloys in which diffusion is faster age harden at room temperature (natural aging), whereas heating to a temperature below the GP zone solvus line is required for slow diffusing alloys (artificial aging). Most of the heat treatable alloys, however, contain combinations of magnesium with one or more

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elements, such as copper, silicon, and zinc. Characteristically, even small additions of magnesium in conjunction with these elements promote precipitation hardening, e.g. in the AI-Cu-Mg system (2xxx series) where strengthening is provided by the Al2 Cu phase and the addition of magnesium intensifies precipitation. Alloys in the 6xxx (AI-Mg-Si) series contain silicon and magnesium approximately in the proportions required for formulation of Mg2Si. The dispersion of particles of the equilibrium 11 phase (MgZn2) and 'I' precipitates are the main strengtheners in the 7xxx series (AI-Zn-Mg) alloys. Minor additions of silver C'" 01 at.- /0) could enhance the response to age hardening of all aluminium alloys containing magnesium, namely the commercial AI-Mg, AI-Cu-Mg, and AI-Zn-Mg-Cu systems. In all these alloys, silver promotes nucleation of a finely dispersed intermediate precipitate. For instance, ",0,1 at.-o/oAg addition to AI-Cu-Mg alloys can stimulate an improved response to age hardening over a wide range of compositions. Recent attention has been directed towards alloys with high copper/magnesium ratios in which silver promotes nucleation of a new precipitate, designated Q, that forms as finely dispersed plates in the {Ill} matrix planes. The Q precipitate is generally believed to be an orthorhombic form of the equilibrium phase phase (AI2Cu) that precipitates in the {100} planes in the binary AI-Cu system.243 The AI-Li alloys are also heat treatable and capable of providing high strength with heat treatment through the precipitation of TeAl2 CuLi, (j'-AI3 Li, or S'-AI2CuMg depending on the alloy composition. The most potent strengthening phase in AI-Li alloys is T 1-A12 CuLi, which is favoured at higher copper/magnesium ratios, i.e. in alloy 2090. Furthermore, zirconium forms fine Al3 Zr dispersoids which have the primary role of assisting control of recrystallisation and grain size during casting and hot working. A new AI-Li based alloy, Weldalite 049, developed in the 1980s, was designed to replace alloys 2219 and 2014.244-246 Weldalite 049 is an Al-( 4'0-6'3)Cul'3Li-0'4Ag-0'14Zr alloy that has extremely high strength in several tempers because, in part, of the enhanced precipitation behaviour caused by the Ag + Mg additions. It is significantly stronger than other aluminium alloys and has a typical longitudinal T8 tensile yield strength (mean value of more than 22 heats) of over 690 MPa from 1024 x 23 cm extruded 'plate'. This exceptionally high strength in the T8 temper is a result of an ultrafine distribution of T1-AI2CuLi platelets, with no (j'-AI3Li present.

low melting constituents, and high solubility of hydrogen when in the molten state. Therefore, some difficulties, namely crack sensitivity, propensity for porosity, and strength loss in the weld metal owing to dissolution of precipitates, can be encountered in welding of these alloys. Furthermore, the high reflectivity of aluminium alloys leads to difficulties in laser beam welding. These aspects must be considered before successful welding can be employed. Crack sensitivity. Aluminium alloys are sensitive to weld metal cracking as a result of their large solidification temperature range, high coefficient of thermal expansion, and large solidification shrinkage. The weld crack sensitivity of heat treatable aluminium alloys is particularly of prime concern because of the greater amounts of alloying additions present in these alloys, which also exhibit a tendency to form low melting constituents. Weld cracking in aluminium alloys may be classified into two main groups based on the mechanism responsible for cracking and the crack location being either solidification cracking or liquation cracking. Solidification cracking occurs within the weld fusion zone and is caused by solidification shrinkage. Liquation cracks, however, occur next to the fusion zone and are caused by the formation of low melting constituents. Liquation cracking takes place in precipitation hardenable alloys as a result of the relatively large amount of alloying additions available to form eutectic phases. These constituents have low melting points and so liquate (melt) during welding, accompanied by tears provided that sufficient stress is present.247-250 Higher heat input widens the partially melted region and makes it more prone to tearing. Thus, liquation cracking is not expected to be of prime concern in power beam welding of aluminium alloys, which is a low heat input process. Consequently, only solidification cracking is discussed below. Solidification cracking (hot tearing). Solidification cracking or hot tearing is cracking in the fusion zone caused by the inability of the liquid to support the strain imposed by solidification shrinkage and thermal stresses.247,251-253 The degree of restraint of welded assemblies plays an important role in crack sensitivity by increasing the external stress on the solidifying weld. Solidification cracking takes place within the weld fusion zone and is influenced by weld metal composition, welding parameters, and the aspect ratio of the weld bead. The crack susceptibility (castability) index for AI-Cu-Mg ternary alloys generated by Pumphrey and Moore254 in 1948 is normally used to predict the weldability of aluminium alloys. Crack sensitivity curves of various binary aluminium systems have also been experimentally determined255-26o and can be used to predict the relative crack sensitivity behaviour of complex alloy systems. The hot cracking susceptibility of any aluminium alloy in general appears to be related to its copper and magnesium contents and may involve any AI-Cu-Mg eutectic.253 Alloys with high copper and low magnesium contents, e.g. alloy 2219, are readily weldable, as are alloys with low copper and high magnesium contents, e.g. alloy 5083.
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

Physical metallurgy of aluminium alloys The present review discusses only physical metallurgy of heat treatable aluminium alloys and welding of AI-Li alloys. A majority of heat treatable aluminium alloys can readily be welded. However, these alloys possess certain characteristics inherent to all aluminium alloys, such as a tenacious oxide layer, high thermal conductivity, a high coefficient of thermal expansion, high reflectivity, solidification shrinkage almost twice that of ferrous alloys, relatively wide solidification temperature ranges, a tendency to form

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However, several high strength, precipitation hardenable aluminium alloys rely on complex alloying additions (large amounts of both copper and magnesium) to develop the required properties. These additions dramatically increase weld crack sensitivity, the most notable examples being alloys 2024 (AI-44Cu-15Mg) and 7075 (AI-56Zn-25Mg16Cu). Moreover, in complex alloy systems, minor alloying additions of copper or magnesium may dramatically increase crack sensitivity by widening the temperature range.254,261,262 High heat inputs, such as high currents and slow welding speeds, contribute to weld solidification cracking.263 Another factor contributing to hot tearing is the weld metal grain size; weldability of aluminium alloys can be improved by refinement of the weld metal grain size.264Weld metal grain sizes produced by power beam welding processes are usually fine as a result of the rapid cooling involved in these processes. Low heat input power welding processes may thus reduce weld crack sensitivity. Cieslak and Fuerschbach265 studied the hot cracking susceptibility of alloy 6061 when welded with pulsed and continuous wave Nd-YAG lasers. They reported that pulsed Nd-YAG laser welds are extremely susceptible to weld metal hot cracking while continuous Nd- YAG laser welds produce crack free joints. The susceptibility to hot cracking for pulsed lasers is attributed to thermally induced stress gradients from the pulsed energy input. Wittig et al.266,267 also observed that alloy 2024- T3 Nd- YAG pulsed laser welds contained severe centreline hot cracking while a continuous wave Nd-YAG laser produced sound welds. Kutsuna et al.268 have recently reported that crack free joints in alloy 2219 can be readily produced with crossflow type CO2 lasers with a power of 4 kW at a welding speed of 2 mm min -1.
Crack sensitivity of AI-Li alloys. Most AI-Li alloys are strengthened by precipitates such as T1-A12 CuLi, which does not require large quantities of both copper and magnesium. It is therefore predicted that AI-Li alloys with high and low magnesium contents, e.g. alloys 2094 and 2090, should not be prone to cracking. Conversely, alloy 2091, and AI-Li alloy with intermediate amounts of both copper and magnesium, may exhibit crack sensitivity. Alloy 2319 can be used as a filler to join both 2090 and Weldalite 049 and alloy 5356 can be used to join alloy 8090. Only a few studies aimed at understanding comprehensively the technique and use of welding to join lightweight AI-Li alloys have been conducted. Cross et al.251 carried out studies to evaluate the weldability of high purity AI-Li binary alloys using the varestraint test to assess their susceptibility to hot tearing. They observed that the susceptibility of an alloy to hot tearing varies with lithium content and that the depth of penetration increases with increasing heat input, as is observed in other aluminium alloys.252 They also found the depth of penetration to increase with lithium concentration. The increase in penetration was rationalised as being caused by the decrease in thermal conductivity that accompanies increasing lithium content. It was observed that the high purity binary AI-Li alloys are readily weldable and have
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 No.1

good resistance to hot tearing. Namba and San0269 also reported that the susceptibility of AI-47Mg(03-13)Li alloy to hot cracking during GTA welding is similar to that of alloy 5083, which is quite low. Hot tearing is cracking in the weld zone caused by the inability of the liquid to support the strain imposed by solidification shrinkage.251,252 Although AI-25Li-l2Cu-07Mg-012Zr alloy 8090 was designed for mechanically fastened applications, several investigations have been performed to assess its fusion weldability. For example, Gittos270 performed GTA and GMA studies on alloy 8090 using alloy 5556A (a slight modification of 5556), 4043, 2319, and parent alloy fillers. To reduce weldment porosity, the plate surfaces were mechanically milled before welding and inert gas backing was used. No hot cracking was observed in the weldments made with 5556A filler, while hot cracking took place in the weldments made with the other three fillers. It was also reported that the inherent hot cracking susceptibility of alloy 8090 is similar to that of 6082, which is a hot cracking sensitive alloy. Gittos270 concluded that lithium is not a neutral addition to AI-Cu-Mg alloys in terms of influencing hot cracking because its presence changes the normal ranking of filler alloys compared with their performance in conventional AI-Cu-Mg alloys. Edwards and Stoneham271 also performed a weldability study on alloy 8090- T6 using the bead on plate (i.e. autogenous) Houldcroft test to assess hot cracking. It was reported that the susceptibility of alloy 8090 to hot cracking is similar to that of alloy 2014, a hot cracking sensitive alloy. Lippold272investigated the weldability of alloys 2090 and 8090 by varestraint and Houldcroft tests. He reported that varestraint test results indicated that alloys 2090 and 8090 are more susceptible to weld solidification cracking than other commercial aluminium alloys, such as 2219, 5083, and 6061. Furthermore, Houldcroft tests showed that alloy 2090 is more resistant to cracking than alloys 8090 and 2091. In a recent weldability study, a trans-varestraint test was used to compare AI-Li alloys with conventional aluminium alloys.273 Results indicated alloy 2219 to be the most weldable and alloys 2090 and 2094 to be the least weldable of those investigated. Skillingberg274 performed GTA and G MA weldability studies on alloy 8090 and reported that alloy 8090 was weldable using alloy 1100, 4043, 5356, and parent fillers, although significant hot cracking was observed using alloy 2319. Hot cracking was also observed in the weldments made with alloy 5356, but no cracking was observed in 2090 weldments produced using parent filler. However, extensive weld development programs246,275-277 have demonstrated that these AI-Li alloys can readily be welded in practice with little concern for cracking. For example, Gnanamuthu and Moores277 successfully demonstrated use of CW CO2 laser welding to join 27 mm thick plates of alloy 8090 without using filler material. No hot tearing was encountered at speeds up to 952 mm S-l using 5 kW of laser beam power. Zacharia et al.278 carried out an investigation to determine the weldability of alloys 2090 and 2091 (AI-Li-Cu-Mg alloys) by EB welding on 125 mm

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thick plates. It was observed that these alloys are susceptible to fusion zone cracking. All the welds contained about 2-50/0 porosity in the fusion zone, but this is not considered' to be excessive for EB welding of aluminium alloys. Results of hot ductility tests indicated that these alloys are not susceptible to HAZ cracking, although there was some evidence of liquation cracks in the HAZ extending from the fusion zone to the unaffected base metal. However, Martukanitz et al.279,280 conducted GTA, GMA, and EB welding studies on alloy 2090- T8E41 using alloy 4047, 4145, 2319, 4043, and 5356 fillers. Either mechanical milling of 0'08-0'23 mm from the surface or chemical milling of 004-015 mm from the surface in a 5 wt-%NaOH aqueous solution at 49C, followed by desmutting in a chromic-sulphuric acid solution, was carried out before welding. Only alloy 5356 filler displayed sufficiently severe hot cracking susceptibility to be considered beyond the limit of commercial weldability. Sunwoo and Morris281,282 conducted EB welding studies on alloy 2090 and no hot cracking was reported. Marsico and Kossowsky283 performed CW CO2 laser beam welding of AI-Li-Cu alloy 2090 (125 mm thick plates). Although some porosity (about 23%) was observed in the fusion zone, no solidification cracking was detected. They reported that the alloy can be readily laser welded and the laser weldability of alloy 2090 is claimed to be better than that of most conventional aluminium alloys because of the lower thermal conductivity caused by lithium addition. Malian and Srivatsan284,285also demonstrated that alloy 2090 (16 mm thick plates) can readily be welded by CW CO2 laser (with a power level of 16 kW). They observed no cracking and only a few pores. Weldalite 049 has also been welded by EB, GTA, GMA, and variable polarity plasma arc (VPPA) welding processes. No propensity to hot cracking has been observed in highly constrained weldments and experienced welders claim that the alloy welds similarly to alloy 2219. Kramer et al.244 performed a study to compare the hot cracking susceptibility of Weldalite 049 containing different copper levels, alloy 2090, and conventional alloys 2219 and 2014. The Weldalite 049 variants contained nominal 62, 54, and 50 wt-%Cu contents, over which peak strength does not vary,245 but ductility and toughness increase with decreasing copper content. Alloy 2014 exhibited the greatest weld zone hot cracking susceptibility, followed by alloy 2090. The three Weldalite 049 variants displayed lower hot cracking susceptibility than alloy 2090, with susceptibility generally decreasing with increasing copper content. Alloy 2219 had the lowest weld zone hot cracking susceptibility of the five alloys, while the four AI- Li alloys exhibited greater resistance to HAZ cracking than both alloys 2219 and 2014. Webster and Bennett286investigated the weldability of newly developed high strength-toughness XT alloys (with proprietary compositions) by the varestraint test and compared the results with those of commercial AI-Li alloys, including S090 and 2090. It was reported that the TX alloys display a susceptibility to hot tearing lower than those of alloys S090

and 2090 and comparable to the best conventional aluminium alloys.


Porosity. The porosity in aluminium weldments is mainly caused by hydrogen gas entrapped during solidification, which has appreciable solubility in molten aluminium and limited solubility in the solid state. Lithium containing aluminium alloys display a higher propensity for weld metal porosity,247,287 which has been observed in AI-Li power beam welds by many researchers.277,283,288-29o The observed high tendency to form porosity in AI-Li alloys has generally been attributed to higher initial amounts of hydrogen in the weld pool as a result of the increased hydrogen solubility in AI-Li alloys.247,291 In a review of Soviet literature292 it was reported that weld zone porosity was considered to be a key problem in welding alloy 01420 by many researchers.293-295 The high porosity was attributed to the surface reactivity of the alloy with ambient moisture resulting in the formation of lithium compounds such as Li02, LiOH, Li2C03, and LiN. It was, however, also reported that a marked drop in porosity in alloy 01420 weldments could be achieved by removing 005 mm from the joint surface before welding. Pickens et al.296 studied the weldability of the AI-5Mg-2Li-01Zr 01420 variant using GTA welding with parent or alloy 5356 filler. Chemical milling of 025 mm in a 300/oNaOH (6'5M) aqueous solution at 50-60C, followed by rinsing in a 300/oHN03 aqueous solution (4SM), reduced porosity to acceptable levels. In addition, machining 013 mm from the surface weldment before welding was equally successful in reducing porosity. Namba and San0269also observed weld zone porosity in GTA weldments of AI-47Mg(03-13)Li alloy, although it was reduced by trailing inert gas shielding, backing inert gas shielding, and scarfing of 02 mm from the surface before welding. Gnanamuthu and Moores277 also reported that chemical milling with 50/0NaOH and 100/oHN03 before CW CO2 laser welding decreased the level of porosity in alloy S090 weldments (27 mm thick plates). In more recent work, Whitaker et al.290 also studied the autogenous laser weldability of alloy 8090 (1-4 mm sheet). Although porosity existed predominantly along the weld centreline, it was reported that the AI- Li based alloy S090 can be welded using a CW CO2 laser at speeds in the range 20-120 mm S-l with power of 15-3S kW. Pre-weld joint preparation requires special care to avoid porosity. Thorough removal of mill scale at the weld joint, by means of dry machining or chemical milling, is required. Common practice in the welding of all AI-Li alloys to minimise porosity is to dry machine ",,025 mm from mating surfaces as well as top and bottom plate surfaces, 25-50 mm from the centreline, on both sides of the joint. It is also considered good practice to weld within a few hours of machining and to degrease immediately before welding. It has also been shown that low levels of oxygen impurity (less than 300 ppm) must be maintained to produce acceptable welds in alloy 2090.197 In addition, when making through thickness welds, as in a keyhole mode, rearside shielding must be used to prevent excessive oxidation and thus porosity.
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lID
C"'l

150
0 ~ weld centre

100 90 80 70 60 50
6061-T6 o 5456-H116 o 2219-T87

;> 125

::c:
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(JJ~ (JJ

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Position across weld, mm 31 Hardness traverse joints of EB welded alloy 6061

T
0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 Distance from weld, cm 30 Hardness profiles across HAZ of GTA welds on 3'2 mm thick 2219-T87, 5456-H116, and 6061-T6 produced using constant heat input247

alloys. At higher temperatures, which are experienced close to the fusion zone, particles are dissolved into solid solution and on cooling may precipitate as strengthening phases. This contributes to the slight increase in hardness that typically occurs near the Katayama et al.289 evaluated the weldability of fusion zone for 6xxx series alloys. alloy 2090 using a CW CO2 laser. They reported that The extent of base metal degradation is determined the welding tendency of alloy 2090 was good, but by the welding process and parameters.247,303 Convensome porosity in the upper part of fusion zones was tional arc welding processes involve the application observed. No mechanical data were reported. of 103-104 W cm - 2 arc intensity and slow weld speeds Skillingberg274 also reported that alloy 2090 weld(< 15 mm s-1 ) which lead to excessive heat input into ments generally displayed higher porosity levels than the base metal, thus resulting in a coarse weld micro8090 weldments, particularly the 2090-5356 GMA structure and a wide HAZ. Weld metal degradation weldment. However, Molian and Srivatsan284,285 in the HAZ (HAZ degradation) of heat treatable reported that only a few pores occurred at the alloys is therefore of prime concern in arc welding. weld/base material interface of CW CO2 laser beam In contrast to non-heat treatable alloys, heat treatable weldments of alloy 2090 (1'6 mm thick plate) and the alloys can fortunately be post-weld heat treated to degree of porosity of the laser weld seemed to be recover the strength of the HAZ. unaffected by the depth of penetration. The HAZ degradation is not expected to be a Base metal HAZ degradation. For heat treatable alumajor problem with power beam weld methods such minium alloys, base metal degradation in the HAZ is as EB and LB welding, which involve low heat input. another problem encountered in arc welding. The These processes are promising for achieving higher HAZ degradation is distinguished by dissolution strength in precipitation hardenable alloy weldments. (2xxx alloys) or growth of precipitates (6xxx However, loss of strengthening elements during weldalloys)?47,298-300 Although different in nature, the ing may occur in the fusion zone. Cieslak and processes are all diffusion controlled and thermally Fuerschbach265 reported magnesium evaporation 301 during both continuous and pulsed Nd-YAG laser activated. A common method of determining the width and welding of alloy 6061, which is a function of welding extent of the HAZ is to measure the hardness across parameters (particularly travel speed for continuous it. Figure 30 shows hardness profiles for GTA welds laser welds). The hardness of alloy 6061 welds was of two common heat treatable alloys, 2219- T87 and affected by the magnesium vaporisation such that 6061- T6, and, for comparison, for the work hardenbase metal strengths could not be achieved by subable alloy 5456-HI16.247 In the case of alloy sequent heat treatment to the T6 condition owing to a reduced ability of the alloy to precipitation harden 2219- T87, dissolution of precipitates occurs when temperature exceeds the solvus lines of respective as a result of a lower magnesium concentration. The precipitates. At positions close to the fusion zone, reduced strength in the fusion zone caused by loss of higher temperatures are experienced and greater disstrengthening elements can, however, be restored by solution of the strengthening phase occurs. using filler metal. Consequently, a continual decrease in strength from Figure 31 shows the hardness traverse of an EB base metal towards the weld metal is typical of AI-Cu welded alloy 6061 joint. In contrast to conventional alloys (Fig. 30).247For alloy 6061- T6, transformation fusion welding processes where the lowest hardness of precipitates proceeds at the greatest rate when values are exhibited by the overaged region in the temperature is between 290 and 425C.247,298,300,302 HAZ (Fig. 30), the lowest hardness values are The minimum hardness value for alloy 6061-T6 in obtained in the weld metal of power beam welds (Fig. 31). The extent of the weld zone, i.e. the fusion Fig. 30 represents the position in the HAZ which experiences temperatures within this range. This minizone and HAZ, produced by power beam processes is much smaller than that produced by conventional mum is also referred to as the overaged zone for these
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

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fusion welding procedures. The local hardness minimum in the overaged region of the HAZ is also present in power beam welds, but it lies between the hardness values of the base metal and the fusion zone, which exhibits the absolute hardness minimum. This problem can be overcome by using proper welding parameters and filler wire. Zacharia et al.278 observed softening in the HAZ of alloy 2090 EB welds (12'5 mm thick plate), but after post-weld aging (at 190C for 16 h) the HAZ strength was restored to the same level as the base metal. No such softened zone was observed in the HAZ of alloy 2091 EB welds owing to the alloy's ability to age naturally at room temperature after welding. However, lithium depletion269,296 as well as loss of other elements in the fusion zone during welding may result in softening of the weldments in the weld region, rendering the fusion zone the weakest part. Marsico and Kossowsky,283 for example, reported that alloy 2090 weldments manufactured using CO2 laser beam welding on 1,25 mm thick plate were not particularly strong, with the best transverse weldment strength being about 217 MPa. Weld properties When comparing weld properties of AI-Li alloys, the welding procedure used, autogenous welding or welding with filler, should be taken into account since these two procedures lead to different properties owing to different weld compositions. Joint strength. As pointed out above, metallurgical transformations in the HAZ of heat treatable alloys during arc welding lead to degradation of strength in this region. Post-weld solution treating and aging provides the greatest improvement in joint strength, but this practice involves use of water quenching which may result in distortion. Post-weld aging, which is carried out at lower temperatures, provides moderate recovery of joint strength and does not require water quenching. An alternative method for increasing the weld strength of heat treatable alloys (i.e. alloys 2024, 2219, 6061, and 7020) is to weld them in the solution heat treated temper (T4) condition and age them after welding. To accomplish this effectively, a welding procedure that keeps the heat input relatively low and short in duration, such as EB or LB welding, should be employed.302,304,305 The tensile properties of many wrought AI-Li alloys are exceptionally high compared with those of commercial aluminium alloys. However, the strength of the welded joints in these alloys is limited by the strength of the solidified weld metal. Even though joint strengths are higher than those obtained in conventional aluminium alloys, joint efficiencies of the order of 500/0 are to be expected for high strength AI-Li alloys. Al-Mg-Li alloys. Kamada et al.306 reported that AI-4Mg-ILi alloy is fusion weldable with alloy 5356 filler, but joint properties were not given. Namba and San0269 investigated the weld ability of AI-4'7Mg(0'3-1'3)Li by GTA and EB welding processes and reported that the lithium content of the weld bead was lower than that of the parent material and suggested that by using a lithium containing filler the

lithium content of the weld zone is restored, thus increasing its strength. Additionally, Saida and Matsumot0307 performed GMA welding of AI-Mg-Li alloys for a fusion reactor vessel application using alloy 5356 filler and reported that the weldments displayed high tensile strengths (up to 295 MPa, which is equal to that of the best AI-Mg alloys) and excellent elongations. Alloy 01420. Mironenko et al.293,308 carried out a detailed investigation to evaluate the fusion weldability of alloy 01420 and found it to have 'good weldability'. They also found that filler materials containing various amounts of manganese, titanium, zirconium, or chromium provided stronger joints than those produced by the parent filler material. Fridlyander309 reported joint efficiencies (i.e. strength of the weld divided by strength of the parent material) of 70% without PWHT and as high as 995.lc> after PWHT, i.e. resolutionising, air cooling, and artificial aging. Joint efficiencies of 80.lc> for GTA welding were obtained for welds that received no PWHT using an AI-6'3Mg-0'5Mn-0'2Zr filler alloy. It was also reported that with re-solution heat treatment, i.e. quenching and artificial aging, joint efficiencies of 100% were obtained.292 Pickens et al.296 also reported that alloy 01420 weldments exhibited tensile strengths as high as 272 MPa without PWHT and as high as 363 MPa with heat treatment. The joint efficiencies of up to 85% obtained were slightly lower than those reported in the Soviet literature. Softening of the weld bead with respect to the base materials was attributed to the effects of lithium depletion in the weld bead when using base material filler coupled with microstructural coarsening. Alloy 2090. Martukanitz et al.279,28o determined joint properties of alloy 2090 GTA and EB weldments. They reported that re-solution heat treating, quenching, and artificial aging of the GTA weldments produced a tensile strength of 386 MPa, but fracture was brittle with no measurable ductility. Autogenous EB weldments (as welded) displayed a tensile strength as high as 322 MPa and the same PWHT increased weldment tensile strength to 413 MPa, but no elongation was measured. Skillingberg274 manufactured alloy 2090 GMA weldments using both parent and alloy 5356 filler and 8090 weldments using 4043 filler. It was reported that the strengths of the alloy 2090 weldments were lower than those of the 8090 weldments. The highest as welded strength for 2090 was 253 MPa, obtained using 5356 filler, whereas the highest for 8090 was 301 MPa, obtained using 4043 filler material. Gaw310 also reported a welding study on alloys 2090 and 8090, although the details of this study are included in a US Government report dissemination of which is restricted. As welded tensile properties of the weldments that were made using the thinner sheet were significantly stronger than those reported by Martukanitz et al.279,28o or Skillingberg.274 However, the weldments made using thicker materials were not as strong. Sunwoo and Morris281 also determined joint strengths of alloy 2090 GTA and EB weldments.
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Joints in the as welded condition exhibited low strength levels (less than 200 MPa) but good ductility (greater than 4% elongation) as a result of dissolution of strengthening precipitates. The highest strength levels of EB and GTA weldments reported were obtained by aging at 160C for 32 h with 750/0joint efficiency and at 190C for 16 h with 650/0 joint efficiency respectively. It was also reported that aging at higher temperatures (230C) leads to coarsening of precipitates and intermetallic constituents, deterioration of weldment strengths, and improvement of elongations. The best overall weldment properties are obtained in the solution treated and aged conditions, owing to a homogeneous distribution of strengthening precipita tes. In addition, Sunwoo and Morris282 performed a study to characterise precipitation development in EB and GTA fusion zones of alloy 2090 and its effect on weldment properties. They reported that both EB and GTA fusion zones lack the strength and ductility of the base metal because of the low volume fraction and inhomogeneity of the strengthening precipitates. They also pointed out that the weld strength is primarily determined by the distribution of b'-AI3Li in the as welded condition. In the underaged condition, the primary strengthener is the b' phase and even in the overaged condition the volume fraction of Ti-A12 CuLi is still too low for it to be an effective strengthener. The EB welds display better overall properties than the GTA welds; joint efficiencies after aging at 170C for 32 h (designated T8) were 750/0 and 550/0respectively. Marsico and Kossowsky288 also performed a laser weldability study on AI-Li alloy 2090. However, the autogenous weldments were not particularly strong and the best transverse weldment strength was about 217 MPa. More recently, Molian and Srivatsan284,285 welded AI-Li-Cu alloy 2090 (1'6 mm thick plates) with a CW CO2 laser. They obtained tensile joint efficiencies of 550/0without any surface preparation work on the as received material. After mechanical milling of 0127 mm from both surfaces, the tensile joint efficienciesincreased to as high as 830/0.These authors also reported that the hardness levels of the laser welds were consistent and unaffected by the presence of various microstructural features resulting from welding. They also compared joint efficiencies of EB and LB weldments with those from conventional processes and reported that LB welding provides the best results, owing to the small HAZ and fine structures in the weld zone. Edwards and Stoneham271 fabricated alloy 8090- T6 autogenous EB weldments and GTA weldments using parent and AI-5Mg fillers. The highest alloy 8090joint strengths (in GTA weldments), 311 MPa tensile strength in the as welded condition and 367 MPa after T6 temper of the weldment, were obtained using parent filler. The results are consistent with those of Gittos,270 but no mechanical data on the EB weldments were reported. Wilner311 also investigated the weldability of alloy 8090, but the applications, welding parameters, and weldment properties investigated are proprietary.
Alloy 8090.
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 No.1

Nevertheless, he indicated that a weldment tensile strength design specification of 288 MPa is attainable with proper welding procedures using an AI-Mg filler, zirconium modified NG-61. The composition of the filler was not disclosed. Skillingberg274has produced GTA and GMA weldments on alloy 8090 using alloy 1100, 4043, 5356, and parent fillers. The highest as welded tensile strength of 301 MPa was that of the weldment made with alloy 4043 filler, whereas re-solution heat treatment, quenching, and artificial aging of the weldments made with parent filler produced a highest tensile strength of 447 MPa, which was 85% of the parent properties. The toughness of weldments was also assessed by Charpy impact testing. Toughness data were scattered, but the alloy 5356 filler produced the highest values. Although it appears that alloy 8090 is susceptible to hot cracking, quality weldments can be made with proper care. The alloy produces high weldment strengths with alloy 4043, 5356, 5556, and parent fillers.
Weldalite 049. Weldalite 049 has been welded using the GTA process with ER 2319 and parent filler wire.245 Tensile strengths of these weldments were reported to be as high as those of the strongest of welded conventional aluminium alloys, e.g. 310 MPa for alloy 7039 and 275 MPa for 2219. Crossweld tensile strengths of more than 340 MPa could be attained in the as welded condition. A preliminary EB welding study by Pickens3i2 was performed in conjunction with welds at TWI, Cambridge, UK. It was reported that the as welded yield strengths were extremely high (e.g. 417 MPa) and that weldment tensile strengths were in the range 430-434 MPa.3i3 After re-solution heat treatment, quenching, and artificial aging, an extremely high apparent yield strength of 527 MPa was obtained. It was also reported by Pickens3i2 that both manual and automatic GTA weldments have been made on 102 x 06 or 102 x 095 cm extruded plate using alloy 2319 filler. After some weld parameter development, weldments having extremely low porosity and high strength were obtained. These strengths are significantly higher than those typically obtained with alloy 2219 using 2319 filler, the parent-filler combination the alloy was designed to replace. Commercial alloy 2219 VPPA welded with 2319 filler is the standard weldment used to fabricate the external fuel tank of the Space Shuttle. Shah et al.3i4 and Hackett and MacFarlane3i5 reported successful joining of Weldalite 049 by a VPPA process using alloy 2319 filler. The Weldalite 049-2319 weld was found to be stronger than the 2219-2319 weld. Table 1 gives mean tensile properties for alloy 2090, alloy 8090, and Weldalite 049 arc weldments and for some conventional aluminium alloy arc weldments. Table 2 gives a comparison of various arc weldment and EB weldment properties for some AI-Li alloys, taken from numerous sQurces. Alloy 2094 is found to have the highest joint strength (372 MPa ultimate strength after VPAA welding and 434 MPa ultimate strength after EB welding), which corresponds to a 38-610/0 improvement in joint efficiency over alloy 2219 weldments with 269 MPa ultimate strength.275

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Mean tensile properties of alloy 2090, alloy 8090, Weldalite 049, and some commercial AI alloy arc weldments247
Ultimate Filler Welding process VPPA* VPPA* VPPA* VPPA* VPPA* GMA GMA GMA Weld thickness, mm 9'5 9'5 5'8 13 6'5 13 13 13 Heat treatment As welded As welded As welded As welded As welded As welded As welded Post-weld aged Post-weld solution treated and aged Naturally aged for 30 days As welded As welded As welded As welded + T6 temper As welded As welded As welded + T6 temper As welded As welded Naturally aged for 800 h As welded As welded As welded As welded Test temperature Room temperature Room Room Room Room Room Room Room Room temperature temperature temperature temperature temperature temperature temperature temperature tensile strength, MPa 273 283 325 300 252 285 232 258 386 340 165 205 228 302 235 310 367 274 315 372 372 287 413 505 Yield strength, MPa 140 154 161 185 156 147 204t Elongation, 25mm 7'9 7'1 9'0 8'6 7'1 % 50mm 4'6 4'7 5'0 5'0 4'7 3'8 5'2 0 0 8'0 5'0 3'0 4'0 4'0 4'0 2'0 4'0 1'5 1'5 3'0 3'0 5'4 1'9 17 1'0 1'5

Base metal 2219 2219 2219 2219-T851 2090 2090 2090-T81 2090-T4 2090-T81 7017-T6 8090-T6 8090-T6 8090-T6 8090-T6 8090-T6 8090-T6 8090-T6 049 049 049 049 049 049 049

metal 2319 049 049 2319 2319 049 2319 2319 2319 AI-5Mg AI AI-5Si AI-5Mg AI-5Mg AI-5Mg (+Zr) 8090 8090 2319 049 049 049 049 049 049

...H ...H
220 137 165 176 245 183 285 315 248 249 290 290 188 360 427

Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature Room temperature 175C -195C -253C

VPPA* VPPA* VPPA* VPPA VPPA VPPA VPPA

9'5 9'5 9'5 9'5 9'5 9'5 95

* Square butt weldments, all fractures occurred in the HAZ. t Failure occurred through the weld fusion zone or at the interface. :f: Failure occurred before reaching 0'2% offset, indicating nil elongation. Weldments of extruded plate, 100 x 9'5 mm.

Ductility. Welds in heat treatable alloys do not generally exhibit as high ductility as those in nonheat treatable alloys. Moreover, PWHT usually decreases weld ductility further. If the weld metal has significantly lower strength than the base metal (undermatching), most of the strain will be concentrated in the weld metal in a transverse tensile test. This is particularly the case for high strength aluminium alloys. Typically, joint ductility measured over a 50 mm gauge length will be 2-40/0 even though the actual weld metal ductility
Table 2 Transverse properties for arc and EB welded AI-Li weldments in as welded condition247
Yield strength, MPa 103 165 165 207 179 193 186 Ultimate tensile strength, MPa 241 248 283 234 324 310 296 276 317 352 269 372 283 434

approaches 10-12%. Tensile elongations of AI-Li alloy arc weldments are given in Table 1. No tensile ductility data have been reported for power beam welds of heat treatable alloys, although it is expected that tensile ductility will be low, especially for high strength aluminium alloys. However, this does not mean that the weld metal is intolerably brittle. The low ductility is a result of the very small thickness of the weld metal which undergoes plastic deformation in the transverse tensile test. The level of ductility achieved in such tests is strongly dependent on the size of the 'gauge length' used in the specimen. Acceptable tensile ductilities can be obtained provided that the strength of the joints can be improved. General comments on fusion welding of AI-Li alloys There has been great progress in the joining of AI-Li alloys. However, since AI-Li alloys are being considered for use in welded structures, further research efforts must be directed towards assessing the weldability of these alloys under a variety of conditions. Current fusion welding processes involve application of 103-104 W cm -2 arc intensity and slow weld speeds of < 15 mm s - \ which allow excessive heat input into the AI-Li alloys resulting in: (i) a coarse weld microstructure (ii) a wide HAZ (iii) lithium depletion in the weld zone.
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43

Alloy and temper condition 01420-T6 2090-T8 2090-T8 2090-T8 2090-T8 8090-T8 8090-T8 8090-T8 8090-T6 2094-T8 2094-T8 2094-T8 2094-T8

Filler metal 5356 2319 2319 2319 5356 5356 5356 2319 2319 2319

Welding process GTA GTA VPPA GMA EB GTA VPPA GMA EB GTA VPPA GMA EB

Ref. 296 316 275 279 279 316 316 274 317 318 319 318 320

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The above can lead to lower strength of welded joints and low resistance to stress corrosion cracking. This problem can be overcome if the weld pool is solidified rapidly, thereby promoting a (fine weld microstructure, minimal loss of elements from the weld pool, and a narrow HAZ. The high pbwer beam processes, such as EB or LB welding, can be successfully used for this purpose and already ~ome success has been reported in the literature. High power beam welding processes have been successfully used to join AI-Li alloys. Electron beam welding has already been used to join alloys 8090, 2090, and 2094. Typically, moderate improvements in strength compared with arc weld properties (Table 2) can be achieved as a result of a finer microstructure, a narrower fusion zone, and better response to aging. Similarly, promising results for LB welded alloy 2090, particularly after PWHT, have been reported.
I

Diffusion bonding of AI-Li alloys

Diffusion bonding has been successfully used to join titanium and its alloys. However, diffusion bonding of aluminium alloys is rather difficult owing to the tenacious oxide layer which acts as a barrier to diffusion. Most early studies on aluminium diffusion bonding321-323 concentrated on the relationships between bond strength and bonding variables such as bonding temperature and time, applied pressure, and surface finish. There has been relatively little progress in understanding the physical and chemical phenomena occurring at and around the bond line. When diffusion bonding aluminium alloys, the native oxide prevents metal to metal contact and hence the formation of the mechanically sound joint. The oxide therefore needs to be removed, fractured, or disrupted during bonding. Two bonding methods have nevertheless emerged. The first involves surface modification, such as deposition of a silver or zinc coating on a nominally oxide free aluminium surface by ion plating (the oxide film is removed by ion bombardment before coating)324-326 and the second uses large scale deformation in the bonded zone to fracture the tenacious layer of alumina on the aluminium surface.327,328 The second method is cheaper than the first one. Another approach to eliminate the oxide layer is the use of a clad layer which reacts with the aluminium to form a liquid phase capable of dissolving it.329 With regard to chemical phenomena, it has been shown330 that magnesium and lithium, which are present as alloying elements in the AI-Li-Cu alloy 8090, are important to the bonding process because they chemically modify the tenacious alumina layer present on the aluminium surface. Maddrell and Wallach331 investigated diffusion welding of alloy 8090 (AI-9Li-05Cu-08Mg (at.-olo)). The bonding pressure was 25 MPa, which was not adequate to substantially disrupt the tenacious oxide layer. Consequently, the bond line remained affected by a semicontinuous layer of oxide, leading to poor mechanical properties. Dunford and Partridge324 obtained solution treated bond strengths of 110 MPa in the AI-Li alloy 8090, the oxide layer of which had been removed by sputtering and the clean surface coated with a thin layer of
International Materials Reviews 1998 Vol. 43 NO.1

silver. Bonding was carried out at a pressure of 110-130 MPa and a temperature of 280-300aC. In later work, Edwards et al.332 studied the diffusion bonding of AI-Li alloy 8090 clad with pure aluminium or coated with silver. They reported that there was no need to coat with silver provided that sufficient pressure was applied. The highest lap shear strength in the as solution treated condition of 100-110 MPa was obtained in the alloy clad with pure aluminium by applying a pressure of 50 MPa at 200aC and bonding at 500aC. However, these bonds failed in a brittle manner by bending or peeling. The authors also reported that a clad layer of 0025 mm or less is necessary to obtain bonds capable of being age hardened. Urena and Dunkerton333 also studied the diffusion bonding of alloy 8090 using pure aluminium (15 flm thick) or silver interlayers (12'5 flm thick). They reported that the bonding procedure with the pure aluminium interlayer provides higher integrity joints than joints with silver interlayers because of the absence of intermetallic compound layers. Lap shear strengths nominally of 80 MPa were reported for as bonded joints with a pure aluminium interlayer for conditions of 530 C, 8-10 MPa, and 60 min. Postbond solution and aging treatments on the pure aluminium interlayer joints led to lap shear strengths in the range 80-100 MPa. Junai et al.334 successfully demonstrated diffusion bonding of alloy 8090 with 15 mm thick sheet. No oxide layer was visible in the interface microstructures of the specimens, which were diffusion bonded using pressures of 63 and 87 MPa. It was also difficult to locate the interface in these microstructures, indicating that a pressure of 63 MPa was adequate to break and disperse the oxide layer present at the joint interface. A peel strength of 90 MPa was obtained for the diffusion bonded joints of alloy 8090 when bonded at a pressure of 63 MPa for 60 min at 530aC. Ricks et al.335 investigated the effect of a roll clad zinc based alloy interlayer on the diffusion bonding of alloy 8090. The aim of using the interlayer was to produce a TLP which solidifies by diffusion, thus inducing bonding. Either atmospheric or inert gas conditions were used and bonding times of up to 8 h were used with bonding pressures of 5 MPa at 500-540 C to minimise distortion. Bond shear strengths of 100-120 MPa were achieved, although it was noted that considerable care should be taken at the surface cleaning stage to achieve these properties. Hot tear strengths in excess of 45 MPa at temperatures consistent with superplastic deformation of the alloy were also reported, indicating that the superplastic forming-diffusion bonding (SPF-DB) process is feasible.
a ro.-' a

General comments on diffusion bonding of AI-Li alloys

Some success has already been achieved in diffusion bonding of AI-Li alloys. However, most of the bonding methods present problems when bonding AI-Li alloys, particularly when a superplastic forming (SPF) process is to be applied after bonding and the joint strengths obtained are low. Superplastic forming after bonding restricts the bonding temperature which can

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39

be used; ideally the temperature should be lower than or equal to the superplastic temperature for the alloy. Furthermore, the bonding time must be restricted to avoid grain growth in the parent sheet which could affect the SPF properties. The potential of AI-Li alloys for weight reductions in aerospace applications will be further enhanced if a viable SPF-DB process can be developed.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

G. vAM: C. R.

PhD thesis, Imperial College, London, UK, 1990.


J. J. K. VALENCIA, A. RHYNE: H. ~fATEOS, C. G. LEVI,

McCULLOUGH, MEHRABIAN,

and

Scripta

Metall.,

1988, 22,

1131-1136.
J. SCHUSTER J. L. MURRAY: J.

and

H. IPSER: Z. Metallkd, 1990, 81, (6), 389-396. Metall. Trans., 1988, 19A, 243-247.

Conclusions
Use of advanced materials in the aerospace, petrochemical, automotive, and power generation industries will inevitably be limited if they can not be joined effectively to themselves or other alloys. In principle, solid state bonding and all fusion welding processes are of potential interest for joining of advanced materials. However, some specific requirements of the different application areas make one particular joining process more suitable than the others. The alloys, their weldability, welding metallurgy, and joining processes, which represent state of the art advanced materials and processes, have been covered in this review. Attention was given to material types (such as intermetallic alloys) and joining processes (such as diffusion bonding and laser welding) in which the GKSS Research Center has a current interest. This review has demonstrated that a variety of the advanced materials of great industrial interest can be welded or bonded with current joining processes. However, further work to optimise joining procedures and to understand the metallurgical changes in the fusion zone for improving weld ability still represents a considerable challenge. There is also a need to develop appropriate mechanical testing procedures, taking into account the unique features of the joints, to assess the joint properties and demonstrate the consistency of the joint quality.

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KIM

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This review was previously published in slightly different form as two parts in Science and Technology of Welding and Joining.

International

Materials Reviews

1998

Vol. 43

No.1