The electronic structure and grain boundary segregation by boron addition
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The electronic structure and grain boundary segregation caused by boron addition to Ni3Al have been studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Auger electron spectroscopy, respectively. The obtained results show that the Ni2p3/2 electron binding energy rises gradually in the sequence of pure Ni<Ni76Al24<Ni74Al26<Ni75Al25, while it reduces monotonously with an increase in boron addition to Ni3Al. Besides, it is found that the grain boundary segregation of boron occurring in Ni3Al is a combined equilibrium and non-equilibrium type in nature. Based on the concept of the bonding environmental inhomogeneity, measured by the shift in Ni2p3/2 electron binding energy from the nickel atoms in the simple substance nickel to those in the intermetallic compound Ni3Al (ΔE B), being responsible for the brittle behavior of the alloy, a binding energy shifting criterion for the brittle-ductile fracture transition in Ni3Al is presented; when ΔE B>0, the brittle failure occurs in Ni3Al; when δE B<0, the ductile one appears. Combined with the above experimental rules, the criterion predicts that pure Ni3Al is brittle, and there exist the stoichiometric effect and concentration effect in the ductilization process for Ni3Al by boron addition. Hence the criterion can be taken as a theoretical guide to alloy design in developing ductile intermetallics.
Keywordsintermetallic Ni3Al boron electronic structure grain boundary segregation brittle-ductile fracture transition
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