STP596

    Application of Auger Electron Spectroscopy to the Study of Embrittlement in Nickel

    Published: Jan 1976


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    Abstract

    Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) was performed on a series of impurity-doped nickel specimens in order to clarify the nature of certain trace element effects that lead to a reduction in the mechanical properties of nickel and nickel-base alloys. Auger electron spectroscopy of the fully embrittled as-cast material showed grain boundary segregation of sulfur, bismuth, and tellurium in order of decreasing intensity when the bulk levels were as low as 40, 10, and 25 ppm weight, respectively. No segregation of lead, antimony, tin, arsenic, or copper could be detected at the grain boundaries. The observed segregation was confined to a very narrow zone in the vicinity of the grain boundary, and since no precipitates could be found by scanning or transmission electron microscopy, it is suggested that the embrittled condition is due to segregation in the elemental form. The data correlate with previous work on nickel alloys that shows bismuth and tellurium to have a more harmful effect on the mechanical properties than the other metallic solutes.

    Keywords:

    spectroscopy, Auger electrons, surface chemistry, sputtering, mechanical properties, fractures (materials), embrittlement, segregation, grain boundaries, impurities, solubility, solutes, nickel alloys, sulfur, bismuth, tellurium, lead, antimony, tin, arsenic, copper


    Author Information:

    Walsh, JM
    Assistant materials project engineer and senior materials engineer, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory, East Hartford, Conn.

    Anderson, NP
    Assistant materials project engineer and senior materials engineer, Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory, East Hartford, Conn.


    Paper ID: STP39061S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E42.03

    DOI: 10.1520/STP39061S


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