The nucleation and growth of η phase in nickel-based superalloy during long-term thermal exposure

Gang Liu*, Xueshan Xiao, Muriel Véron, Soran Birosca

*Corresponding author for this work

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The microstructure degradation and subsequent phase transformations in Waspaloy nickel-based superalloy during thermal exposure at 780 °C for 10,000 h were investigated. Two paths of η phase formation in the centre of extra-large γ’ (EL-γ’) following the formation of EL-γ’ were observed: (i) η phase directly precipitated within EL-γ’ when the coalescence of γ’ reached a critical stage; (ii) η phase precipitated at the interface of small size MC carbide and EL-γ’, with both MC and η embedded inside EL-γ’. The phase transformation process including the formation of EL-γ’ were experimentally observed and the formation sequences were schematically suggested. Two criteria of η formation and growth within EL-γ’ were established: (i) stacking faults formation in the nucleation site and (ii) sufficient atom diffusion during nuclei growth. The study of kinetics of η formation through two different paths revealed the critical role of small size carbides in promoting η nucleation and growth. It is concluded that η formation may be suppressed by controlling the size and density of MC carbides during materials processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-506
Number of pages14
JournalActa Materialia
Early online date24 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • MC-carbide
  • Nickel-based superalloy
  • Phase transformation
  • Waspaloy
  • η phase


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