Nanoindentation and Nano-Compresion Testing of Ni3Al Precipitates

B. Gan*, H. Murakami, R. Maaß, L. Meza, J. R. Greer, T. Ohmura, S. Tin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Using an AFM-based instrumented nanoindentation system, the nanoindentation response of γ' particles (Ni3Al) in a Ni-base single crystal superalloy CMSX-4 was characterized to demonstrate the influence of the softer γ matrix on the measurement of nano-mechanical properties of γ' particles. The properties of the γ' particles were measured after both a standard and a coarsening heat treatment, in which the initially sub-micron sized cuboidal γ' particles transformed to large, irregularly shaped γ' precipitates with dimensions in excess of 30 μm. The measured nano-hardness of the coarsened γ' precipitates in CMSX-4 appears to increase slightly with the increasing load. Nano-compression testing of cuboidal γ' particles, electrolytically extracted from a CMSX-4 after a standard solution and age heat treatment, was also performed. With a maximum value of 10 GPa, the measured yield stress of these dislocation-free γ' particles approaches the ideal strength and is equivalent to -G/17. Compared to the measured yield strengths of γ' phase in its bulk crystal form, these nano-compression results are more than a factor of 33 higher. Additionally, the 'softening' effect of Ga+ ion implantation on the strength of dislocation-free nanocrystals was also assessed. The resulting yield strengths of cuboidal γ' precipitates imaged with a focused ion beam were at least 5 GPa lower than those that had not been subjected to Ga+ ion implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSuperalloys 2012
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780470943205
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct 2
Externally publishedYes


  • Nano-compression
  • Nanoindentation
  • Superalloy
  • γ′ precipitate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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