On the Effect of Nb on the Microstructure and Properties of Next Generation Polycrystalline Powder Metallurgy Ni-Based Superalloys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Katerina A. Christofidou
  • Mark C. Hardy
  • Christos Argyrakis
  • Hiroto Kitaguchi
  • Nicholas G. Jones
  • Paul M. Mignanelli
  • Alison S. Wilson
  • Olivier M. D. M. Messé
  • Ed J. Pickering
  • Robert J. Gilbert
  • Cathie M. F. Rae
  • Alex Evans
  • Daniel Child
  • Howard J. Stone

Colleges, School and Institutes


The effect of Nb on the properties and microstructure of two novel powder metallurgy (P/M) Ni-based superalloys was evaluated, and the results critically compared with the Rolls-Royce alloy RR1000. The Nb-containing alloy was found to exhibit improved tensile and creep properties as well as superior oxidation resistance compared with both RR1000 and the Nb-free variant tested. The beneficial effect of Nb on the tensile and creep properties was due to the microstructures obtained following the post-solution heat treatments, which led to a higher γ′ volume fraction and a finer tertiary γ′ distribution. In addition, an increase in the anti-phase-boundary energy of the γ′ phase is also expected with the addition of Nb, further contributing to the strength of the material. However, these modifications in the γ′ distribution detrimentally affect the dwell fatigue crack-growth behavior of the material, although this behavior can be improved through modified heat treatments. The oxidation resistance of the Nb-containing alloy was also enhanced as Nb is believed to accelerate the formation of a defect-free Cr2O3 scale. Overall, both developmental alloys, with and without the addition of Nb, were found to exhibit superior properties than RR1000.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3896-3907
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A
Issue number9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2018