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Microstructural Characterization of Thermomechanical and Heat-Affected Zones of an Inertia Friction Welded Astroloy


The behaviour of γ’ phase to thermal and mechanical effects during rapid heating of Astroloy, a powder metallurgy nickel-based superalloy has been investigated. The thermo-mechanical-affected zone (TMAZ) and heat-affected zone (HAZ) microstructures of an inertia friction welded (IFW) Astroloy were simulated using a Gleeble thermo-mechanical simulation system. Detailed microstructural examination of the simulated TMAZ and HAZ and those present in actual IFW specimens showed that γ’ particles persisted during rapid heating up to a temperature where the formation of liquid is thermodynamically favored and subsequently re-solidified eutectically. The result obtained showed that forging during the thermo-mechanical simulation significantly enhanced resistance to weld liquation cracking of the alloy. This is attributable to strain-induced rapid isothermal dissolution of the constitutional liquation products within 150 μm from the center of the forged sample. This was not observed in purely thermally simulated samples. The microstructure within the TMAZ of the as-welded alloy is similar to the microstructure in the forged Gleeble specimens.