Russian Journal of Non-Ferrous Metals

, Volume 59, Issue 6, pp 671–676 | Cite as

Fabrication of the Nb–16Si Alloy Powder for Additive Technologies by Mechanical Alloying and Spheroidization in Electric-Arc Discharge Thermal Plasma

  • A. A. PopovichEmail author
  • N. G. RazumovEmail author
  • A. V. GrigorievEmail author
  • A. V. SamokhinEmail author
  • V. Sh. SufiiarovEmail author
  • I. S. GoncharovEmail author
  • A. A. FadeevEmail author
  • M. A. SinaiskiiEmail author


The development of new, more refractory heat-resistant materials for gas-turbine engines is one of most important problems of modern materials science. This is associated with the fact that nickel superalloys currently used for this purpose have a lower melting point of ~1400°C, which limits their own maximal working temperature by a range of 1100–1150°C. The Ni alloys can be replaced by natural composites, in which refractory metals are a matrix, while their silicides are intermetallic hardeners. Only three “refractory metal–silicon” binary systems manifest stability to the Me5Si3 silicide, notably, Nb5Si3, Re5Si3, and W5Si3. From the viewpoint of a combination of a high melting point and a low density, the Nb5Si3 compound is optimal among other silicides. The use of alloys of the Nb–Si system in additive manufacturing machines is of considerable interest. This work presents the results of experimental investigations into the treatment of the Nb–16 at % Si powder fabricated using mechanical alloying of elemental Nb and Si powders in the thermal plasma flux. The Nb–16Si alloy powder is fabricated by the mechanical alloying of powders of pure elements in a Fritsch Pulverisette 4 planetary mill. The powder spheroidization is performed in a plasma installation based on a discharge vortex-stabilized electric-arc thermal plasma generator. Based on the results of experimental investigations, the principal possibility to perform the plasma spheroidization of particles of the Nb–16Si alloy prepared by mechanical alloying is shown. It is shown that the surface of spheroidized particles is rough and reflects the cast material structure. Three phase components Nb5Si3, Nb3Si, and Nbss having different optical contrast are revealed in microslices, which is confirmed by X-ray phase analysis.


mechanical alloying spheroidization thermal plasma heat-resistant alloy spherical powder 



This study was supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation, project no. 15-13-00062.


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© Allerton Press, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.OAO KlimovSt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Institute of Metallurgy and Materials, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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