Inertia welding nickel-based superalloy: Part I. Metallurgical characterization

Michael Preuss, P. J. Withers, J. W.L. Pang, G. J. Baxter

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This article describes a quantitative study of the microstructure of nickel-based superalloy RR1000 tube structures joined by inertia welding. One as-welded and three post weld heat-treated (PWHT) conditions have been investigated. The samples were characterized mechanically by measuring the hardness profiles and micro structurally in terms of γ grain size, γ' precipitate size and volume fraction, stored energy, and microtexture. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) was used to characterize highangle grain boundaries (HAGB) and the variation of microtexture across the weld line. The coherent γ' precipitates were investigated over a range of scales on etched samples in a field emission gun scanning electron microscope (FEGSEM), using carbon replicas in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and from thin slices by means of high-energy synchrotron X-rays. Dramatic changes in the microstructure were observed within 2 mm of the weld line. In this region, the hardness profile is influenced by changes in grain size, γ' volume fraction, γ' particle size, and the work stored in the material. Further away, the observed hardness variation is still significant although only minor microstructural changes could be observed. In this region, the correlation of microstructure and hardness is less straightforward. Here, a combination of small microstructural changes appears to give rise to a significant change in strength. No significant texture or grain distortion was observed in the extensively plastically deformed region due to recrystallization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number307
Pages (from-to)3215-3225
Number of pages11
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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