Atom probe tomography study of Fe-Ni-Al-Cr-Ti ferritic steels with hierarchically-structured precipitates

Sung Il Baik*, Michael J.S. Rawlings, David C. Dunand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The ferritic Fe-Ni-Al-Cr-Mo steel (FBB8) has good creep properties up to 700 °C due to B2-NiAl nanoscale precipitates and its creep resistance can be further improved by additions of 2 or 4 wt.% Ti, as a result of sub-precipitates within the main precipitates. Here, the hierarchical structure of the precipitates is studied in the light of phase separation via transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT). For FBB8-2Ti (with 2% Ti added) exhibiting B2-NiAl precipitates with L21-Ni2AlTi sub-precipitates, APT analysis shows strong partitioning of Ni, Al and Ti from the ferritic matrix into the B2/L21 precipitates and, within the precipitates, partitioning of Ti and Fe within the L21 sub-precipitates. Based on the published pseudo-binary phase-diagram between (Ni,Fe)Al and (Ni,Fe)Ti, this hierarchical precipitate microstructure is discussed based on the known miscibility gap between the B2 and L21 phases, due to partitioning of Ti into the L21 phase and ordering of Al and Ti on the Al sub-lattice of the B2 structure. For FBB8-4Ti (with 4% Ti added), by contrast, the L21 precipitates exhibit bcc sub-precipitates rich in Fe and Cr, with a composition close to that of the matrix; the absence of the B2 structure is consistent with an increase of Ti and Fe concentrations, to 18.2 and 19.3 at.% respectively, as measured via APT, in the L21 precipitates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-715
Number of pages9
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Atom-probe tomography (APT)
  • B2-L2 phase separation
  • Ferritic steel
  • Hierarchical precipitate structure
  • Precipitate strengthening
  • Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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