The dislocation behaviour and GND development in a nickel based superalloy during creep

Soran Birosca*, Gang Liu, Rengen Ding, Jun Jiang, Thomas Simm, Chris Deen, Mark Whittaker

*Corresponding author for this work

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In the current study, dislocation activity and storage during creep deformation in a nickel based superalloy (Waspaloy) were investigated, focussing on the storage of geometrically necessary (GND) and statistically stored (SSD) dislocations. Two methods of GND density calculation were used, namely, EBSD Hough Transformation and HR-EBSD Cross Correlation based methods. The storage of dislocations, including SSDs, was investigated by means of TEM imaging. Here, the concept of GND accumulation in soft and hard grains and the effect of neighbouring grain orientation on total dislocation density was examined. Furthermore, the influence of applied stress (below and above the yield stress of Waspaloy) during creep on deformation micro-mechanism and dislocation density was studied. It was demonstrated that soft grains provided pure shear conditions on at least two octahedral (111) slip systems for easy dislocation movement. This allowed dislocations to reach the grain boundary without significant geometrically necessary dislocation accumulation in the centre of the grain. Hence, the majority of the soft grains appeared to have minimum GND density in the centre of the grain with high GND accumulation in the vicinity of the grain boundaries. However, the values and width of accumulated GND depended on the surrounding grain orientations. Furthermore, it was shown that the hard grains were not favourably oriented for octahedral slip system activation leading to a grain rotation in order to activate any of the available slip systems. Eventually, (i) the hard grain resistance to deformation and (ii) neighbouring grain resistance for the hard grain reorientation caused high GND density on a number of octahedral (111) slip systems. The results also showed that during creep below the yield stress of Waspaloy (500 MPa/700°C), the GND accumulation was relatively low due to the insufficient macroscopic stress level. However, the regions near grain boundaries showed high GND density. At 800 MPa/700°C (above yield at this temperature), in addition to the movement of pre-existing dislocations (SSD and GND) at a higher mobility rate, large numbers of dislocations were generated and moved toward the grain boundaries. This resulted in a much higher GND density but narrower width of high intensity GNDs near the grain boundaries. It is concluded that although GND measurement by means of EBSD can provide great insight into dislocation accumulation and its behaviour, it is critical to consider SSD type which also contributes to the strain hardening of the material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-268
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Plasticity
Early online date21 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Creep
  • Dislocation
  • EBSD
  • GND
  • Nickel
  • Superalloy
  • TKD
  • RCUK
  • EP/H500375/1
  • EP/H022309/1


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