Numerical Simulation and Experimental Study of Transient Liquid Phase Bonding of Single Crystal Superalloys
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The primary goals of the research in this dissertation are to perform a systematic study to identify and understand the fundamental cause of prolonged processing time during transient liquid phase bonding of difficult-to-bond single crystal Ni-base materials, and use the acquired knowledge to develop an effective way to reduce the isothermal solidification time without sacrificing the single crystalline nature of the base materials. To achieve these objectives, a multi-scale numerical modeling approach, that involves the use of a 2-D fully implicit moving-mesh Finite Element method and a Cellular Automata method, was developed to theoretically investigate the cause of long isothermal solidification times and determine a viable way to minimize the problem. Subsequently, the predictions of the theoretical models are experimentally validated. Contrary to previous suggestions, numerical calculations and experimental verifications have shown that enhanced intergranular diffusivity has a negligible effect on solidification time in cast superalloys and that another important factor must be responsible. In addition, it was found that the concept of competition between solute diffusivity and solubility as predicted by standard analytical TLP bonding models and reported in the literature as a possible cause of long solidification times is not suitable to explain salient experimental observations. In contrast, however, this study shows that the problem of long solidification times, which anomalously increase with temperature is fundamentally caused by departure from diffusion controlled parabolic migration of the liquid-solid interface with holding time during bonding due to a significant reduction in the solute concentration gradient in the base material. Theoretical analyses showed it is possible to minimize the solidification time and prevent formation of stray-grains in joints between single crystal substrates by using a composite powder mixture of brazing alloy and base alloy as the interlayer material, which prior to the present work has been reported to be unsuitable. This was experimentally verified and the use of the composite powder mixture as interlayer material to reduce the solidification time and avoid stray-grain formation during TLP bonding of single crystal superalloys has been reported for the first time in this research.