A new refractory Ni7Nb2 phase identified in Laves eutectic regions by TEM study

Hualong Ge, Weiwei Xing, Bo Chen, Xiaobing Hu, Shijian Zheng*, Kui Liu, Xiuliang Ma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The dissolution behavior of γ/Laves eutectic within a typical Ni-based superalloy (Inconel 718) was investigated by in-situ and conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques. The results show that the Laves phase dissolved firstly at 700°C, but a new Ni7Nb2 phase possessing similar composition with δ-Ni3Nb phase precipitated near Laves phase did not dissolve at temperatures up to 950°C. The new Ni7Nb2 phase with lattice parameters: a=0.473 nm, b=0.794 nm, c=1.21 nm and β=91.3°, shows a C2/m space group symmetry. The crystal structure of the new Ni7Nb2 phase can be understood by “triple layers” as the Ni7Zr2-type structure does, stacking perpendicular to the (001) planes. Instead of stacking with one single shift vector s corresponding to the Ni7Zr2-type structure, the stacking sequences of the new Ni7Nb2 can be characterized by alternate occurrence of +s and -s. Moreover, the structural change of γ/Laves eutectic constituent before and after heat treatment was investigated. The Ni7Nb2 could remain after heat treatment. Since the experimental Ni7Nb2 structure was shown to be unstable in the Ni-Nb binary system by calculation, it is suggested that Zr, Si and Co promote the formation of Ni7Nb2 phase in superalloys according to the segregation behaviors of elements. Moreover, as Ni7Zr2 is considered to be detrimental to the mechanical properties, Ni7Nb2 phase should also have negative influences and should be eliminated through possible approaches. The finding of the new phase should shed light on the microstructural controlling and heat treatment process formulating of superalloys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116985
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • Eutectic
  • In-situ transmission electron microscopy
  • Inconel 718
  • Laves phase
  • Ni-Nb phase
  • Nickel-based superalloys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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