Cautionary note on use of focused ion beam sectioning as technique for characterising oxidation damage in Ni based superalloys

S. Cruchley, Jifeng Sun, Mary Taylor, Hugh Evans, P. Bowen, J. Sumner, J. R. Nicholls, N. J. Simms, B. A. Shollock, R. J. Chater, B. J. Foss, M. C. Hardy, S. Stekovic

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Abstract

Previous observations on Ni based superalloys, obtained through the use of focused ion beam (FIB) sample preparation and imaging, have reported the presence of subsurface voids after oxidation. In this present study, oxidised specimens of the Ni based superalloy, RR1000, were subjected to conventional sample preparation as well as both dual and single beam FIB preparation, with the aim of re-examining the previous observations of subsurface void formation. It is clear from FIB preparations that features previously interpreted as networks of voids have been demonstrated to be internal oxides by varying the sample tilt angles and imaging signal using either secondary electrons (SEs) or secondary ions (SIs). Conventional preparation methods illustrate the presence of subsurface alumina intrusions and the absence of voids, supporting previous evidence. The positive identification of voids and oxides by FIB can be complex and prone to misinterpretation and thus, the use of several imaging conditions and tilt angles must be used, along with conventional preparation methods, to confirm or refute the presence of ‘voids’ underneath oxides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials at High Temperatures
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date17 Feb 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • focussed ion beam
  • ni-based superalloy
  • oxidation
  • internal oxidation
  • viods
  • SIMS

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