Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew N. Cavalli


The operating temperature of land-based gas turbines and jet engines are ever-increasing to increase the efficiency, decrease the emissions and minimize the cost. Within the engines, complex-shaped parts experience extreme temperature, fatigue and corrosion conditions. Ti-based, Ni-based and Fe-based alloys are commonly used in gas turbines and jet engines depending on the temperatures of different sections. Although those alloys have superior mechanical, high temperature and corrosion properties, severe operating conditions cause fast degradation and failure of the components. Repair of these components could reduce lifecycle costs. Unfortunately, conventional fusion welding is not very attractive, because Ti reacts very easily with oxygen and nitrogen at high temperatures, Ni-based superalloys show heat affected zone (HAZ) cracking, and stainless steels show intergranular corrosion and knife-line attack. On the other hand, transient liquid phase (TLP) bonding method has been considered as preferred joining method for those types of alloys.

During the initial phase of the current work commercially pure Ti, Fe and Ni were diffusion bonded using commercially available interlayer materials. Commercially pure Ti (Ti-grade 2) has been diffusion bonded using silver and copper interlayers and without any interlayer. With a silver (Ag) interlayer, different intermetallics (AgTi, AgTh) appeared in the joint centerline microstructure. While with a Cu interlayer eutectic mixtures and Ti-Cu solid solutions appeared in the joint centerline. The maximum tensile strengths achieved were 160 MPa, 502 MPa, and 3 82 MP a when Ag, Cu and no interlayers were used, respectively. Commercially pure Fe ( cp-F e) was diffusion bonded using Cu (25 m) and Au-12Ge eutectic interlayer (100 μm). Cu diffused predominantly along austenite grain boundaries in all bonding conditions. Residual interlayers appeared at lower bonding temperature and time, however, voids were observed in the joint centerline at higher joining temperature and time. Dispersed Au-rich particles were observed in the base metal near interface. The highest ultimate tensile strengths obtained for the bonded Fe were 291±2 MPa using a Cu interlayer at 1030°C for 10 hand 315±4 MPa using a Au-12Ge interlayer at 950°C for 15 h. Commercially pure Ni (cp-Ni) was diffusion bonded using a Al, Au-12Ge or Cu interlayer. The formation of intermetallics could not be avoided when Al interlayer was used. Even though no intermetallics were obtained with Au-12Ge or Cu interlayer, appreciable strength of the joint was not found.

Next, the simple bonding systems were modeled numerically. It is hoped that the simple models can be extended for higher order alloys. The modeling of TLP joint means to come up with a mathematical model which can predict the concentration profiles of diffusing species. The concentration dependence of diffusivity in a multi-component diffusion system makes it complicated to predict the concentration profiles of diffusing species. The so-called chemical diffusivity can be expressed as a function of thermodynamic and kinetic data. DICTRA software can calculate the concentration profiles using appropriate mobility and thermodynamic data. It can also optimize the diffusivity data using experimental diffusivity data. Then the optimized diffusivity data is stored as mobility data which is a linear function of temperature. In this work, diffusion bonding of commercially pure Ni using Cu interlayers is reported. The mobility parameters of Ni-Cu alloy binary systems were optimized using DICTRA/Thermocalc software from the available self-, tracer and chemical diffusion coefficients. The optimized mobility parameters were used to simulate concentration profiles of Ni-Cu diffusion joints using DICTRA/Thermocalc software. The calculated and experimental concentration profiles agreed well at 1100 °C. This method could not be extended for higher order alloys because of the lack of appropriate thermodynamic and kinetic database.

In the third phase industrially important alloys such as S S 3 21, Inconel 718 and Ti-6Al- 4V were diffusion bonded. Diffusion bonded SS 321 with Au-12Ge interlayer provided the best microstructure when bonded in either vacuum or argon at 1050°C for 20 hand cooled in air. The maximum strength obtained of the joint was 387±4 MPa bonded in vacuum at 1050°C for 20 hand cooled in air. The microstructure of joint centerline of diffusion bonded Inconel 718 using Au-12Ge interlayer at 1050°C for 15 hand cooled in air consisted of residual interlayer (1.3-2.5 μm). The residual interlayer was disappeared by increasing the bonding time by 5 h, however, pores appeared in the joint centerline. As a result, the strength obtained for bonded Inconel 718 was much lower than that of the base alloy. The joint centerline microstructure of bonded Ti-6Al-4V using Cu interlayer was free of intermetallics and solid solution of Cu and base alloy. The strength of the joint is yet to be determined.

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