Microstructural and creep properties of boron- and zirconium-containing cobalt-based superalloys

Peter J. Bocchini*, Chantal K. Sudbrack, Ronald D. Noebe, David C. Dunand, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The effects of micro-additions of boron and zirconium on grain-boundary (GB) structure and strength in polycrystalline γ(f.c.c.) plus γ'(L12) strengthened Co-9.5Al-7.5W-X at% alloys (X=0-Ternary, 0.05B, 0.01B, 0.05Zr, and 0.005B-0.05Zr at%) are studied. Creep tests performed at 850 °C demonstrate that GB strength and cohesion limit the creep resistance and ductility of the ternary B- and Zr-free alloy due to intergranular fracture. Alloys with 0.05B and 0.005B-0.05Zr both exhibit improved creep strength due to enhanced GB cohesion, compared to the baseline ternary Co-9.5Al-7.5W alloy, but alloys containing 0.01B or 0.05Zr additions display no benefit. Atom-probe tomography (APT) is utilized to measure GB segregation, where B and Zr are demonstrated to segregate at GBs. A Gibbsian interfacial excess of 5.57±1.04 atoms nm−2 was found for B at a GB in the 0.01B alloy and 2.88±0.81 and 2.40±0.84 atoms nm−2 for B and Zr, respectively, for the 0.005B-0.05Zr alloy. The GBs in the highest B-containing (0.05B) alloy exhibit micrometer-sized boride precipitates with adjacent precipitate denuded-zones (PDZs), whereas secondary precipitation at the GBs is absent in the other four alloys. The 0.05B alloy has the smallest room temperature yield strength, by 6%, which is attributed to the PDZs, but it exhibits the largest increase in creep strength (with an ~2.5 order of magnitude decrease in the minimum strain rate for a given stress at 850 °C) over the baseline Co-9.5Al-7.5W alloy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
StatePublished - Jan 13 2017


  • Atom-probe tomography (APT)
  • Cobalt-base superalloys
  • Creep
  • Gamma prime
  • Grain boundaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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