Despite the large industrial use of pack aluminizing processes for the protection of parts (e.g. cooling channels) of gas turbine blades, systematic studies relating the formation mechanisms and the chemical composition of pack aluminized layers to important process parameters, including the nature of the base alloy and the temperature, are scarce. In this study, 4 different alloys (pure Ni, Ni-20Cr, Inconel 738 and directionally solidified CM247LC) were subjected to a pack aluminizing process at three different temperatures (950. °C, 1000. °C, 1040. °C), using a pack mix containing a fluorine-based activator; the results were compared to those obtained with a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) aluminizing process performed at 1040. °C with the same fluorine-based gaseous precursor.The microstructural characterization, performed by SEM+quantitative EDX analysis, XRD and nanoindentation testing, shows that, during the heating stage of the pack aluminizing process, Al is transported to the sample surface at temperatures too low to allow significant simultaneous diffusion of Ni; therefore, a δ-Ni2Al3 outer layer is formed by inward Al diffusion below the alloy surface, and its growth then continues during the isothermal stage as well. As a result, the chosen isothermal treatment temperature does not affect growth mechanisms, although it modifies the overall thickness of the aluminized layer. δ-Ni2Al3 is converted to β-NiAl after a subsequent vacuum heat treatment at 1120°C. In a CVD process, where gaseous precursor are introduced only after attaining the isothermal treatment stage, Al and Ni diffuse simultaneously from the very beginning of the aluminizing process and β-NiAl is directly developed.Less mobile species (heavy atoms, such as W) in the alloy composition hinder all diffusion phenomena, both during pack aluminizing and during subsequent vacuum heat treatment: after aluminizing, precipitates are developed within the δ-Ni2Al3 outer layer and, after vacuum heat treatment, the resulting β-NiAl layer exhibits a compositional gradient.
Diffusion mechanisms and microstructure development in pack aluminizing of Ni-based alloys / Francesco, Bozza; Bolelli, Giovanni; Carlo, Giolli; Andrea, Giorgetti; Lusvarghi, Luca; Paolo, Sassatelli; Andrea, Scrivani; Candeli, Alessia; Martin, Thoma. - In: SURFACE & COATINGS TECHNOLOGY. - ISSN 0257-8972. - STAMPA. - 239:(2014), pp. 147-159. [10.1016/j.surfcoat.2013.11.034]