Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Processing and characterization of Nickel-base superalloy micro-components and films for MEMS applications
by Burns, Devin E., Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 2013, 206; 3572711
Abstract (Summary)

Microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices are not capable of withstanding harsh operating environments, which may include high temperatures, pressures and corrosive agents. Ni-base superalloys have been used successfully in the hot stages of jet turbine engines despite the presence of these conditions. In my thesis work, I developed two techniques compatible with micro-processing methods to produce Ni-base superalloy micro-components for MEMS applications. The mechanical properties of these materials were accessed at room and elevated temperatures. Microstructural studies were performed, linking microstructural features to mechanical properties.

The first technique modified LIGA Ni (LIGA is a German acronym for lithography, electroplating and molding) microtensile specimens using a vapor phase aluminization process. A subsequent homogenization heat treatment produced a two phase Ni-Ni3A1 microstructure characteristic of modern Ni-base superalloys. Al composition was used to tailor both the precipitate size and volume fraction. Aluminized LIGA Ni micro-components exhibited room temperature yield and ultimate strengths 3 to 4 times LIGA Ni micro-components subject to the same heat treatment.

The second technique involved sputtering a commercial Ni-base superalloy, Haynes 718, to produce thick sputtered foils (up to 20 gam) on silicon and brass substrates. The as-deposited foils were nanocrystalline solid solutions with chemical compositions similar to the bulk material. Foils subject to ageing heat treatments exhibited unique precipitation mechanisms and good thermal stability. Strengths as high as 750 MPa at 700°C were observed with several percent ductility. This is a significant improvement over state of the art metallic MEMS materials.

Furthermore, a new high temperature microtensile testing technique was developed. The technique embeds a displacement based force sensor into the hot zone of a furnace. This arrangement ensures temperature uniformity during testing, while permitting friction along the loading axis by measuring force locally. Load and displacement are measured simultaneously with a single camera using digital image correlation techniques. Initial results, using Al 6061-T6 as a reference material, were promising.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hemker, Kevin
Commitee: El-wady, Irafar, Weihs, Timothy
School: The Johns Hopkins University
Department: Mechanical Engineering
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-B 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mechanical engineering, High Temperature Physics, Materials science
Keywords: Alloy 718, Aluminization, Films, High temperature testing, Micro-components, Nickel-base superalloy, Sputtering
Publication Number: 3572711
ISBN: 978-1-303-39299-3
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