The present study evaluates the scope of improvement of oxidation resistance of Inconel 718 (IN718) by laser surface alloying (LSA) with Si, Al and ZrB2 using a 0.5 kW continuous wave Nd-YAG laser. The alloyed zone (AZ) is free of macro-defects (porosity, crack, etc.) and contains microstructural and compositional gradation along vertical depth from the top surface until the AZ-substrate interface. Detailed microstructural and phase evolution studies indicate that the AZ consists of multiple intermetallic phases/compounds of Si, Al or Zr with multi-phase eutectic aggregate including Ni-rich matrix phase. The identity, size, morphology and relative amount of these phases vary with LSA parameters and vertical depth within the AZ. Accordingly, the microhardness profile along depth corroborates such graded microstructure and phase aggregate confined to the AZ. Isothermal oxidation studies at 900 °C show significant improvement in oxidation resistance due to LSA in comparison to that of as-received IN718, particularly in case of LSA with Si. Post oxidation studies reveal that the oxide scale consists of adherent oxides like SiO2, Al2O3 or ZrO2, in addition to several intermetallic phases pre-existing in the AZ prior to oxidation. Thus, it follows that the intermetallic phase rich AZ developed by LSA is adherent, defect-free, strong and offers very high resistance to oxidation in IN718 at elevated temperature.
- Alloyed zone
- Graded microstructure and composition
- Intermetallic phases and compounds
- Laser surface alloying
- Oxidation resistance