Zinc-induced embrittlement in nickel-base superalloys by simulation and experiment

Richard Otis, Mahesh Waje, Greta Lindwall, Tiffany Jefferson, Jeremy Lange, Zi Kui Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The high cost of Re has driven interest in processes for recovering Re from scrap superalloy parts. In this work thermodynamic modelling is used to study Zn-induced embrittlement of a superalloy and to direct experiments. Treating superalloy powder with Zn vapour reduces the average particle size after milling from approximately (Formula presented.) m to 0.5–10 (Formula presented.) m, vs. (Formula presented.) m for untreated powder. Simulations predict the required treatment time to increase with temperature. Agreement between predictions and experiments suggests that an embrittling liquid forms in less than an hour of Zn vapour treatment between 950–1000 (Formula presented.) C and partial pressures of Zn between 14–34 kPa (2–5 psi).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalPhilosophical Magazine Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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