Joint strength and interfacial microstructure in silicon nitride/nickel-based Inconel 718 alloy bonding

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Joining of Inconel 718 alloys to silicon nitrides using Ag–27Cu–3Ti alloys was performed to investigate the microstructural features of interfacial phases and their effect on joint strength. The Si3N4/Inconel 718 alloy joints had a low shear strength in the range 70.4–46.1 MPa on average, depending on joining temperature and time. When the joining time was held for 1.26 ks at 1063 K, shear, tension, and four-point bending strength were 70.4, 129.7, and 326.5 MPa on average. The microstructures of the joints typically consisted of six types of phases. They were TiN and Ti5Si4 between silicon nitride and filler metal, a copper- and silver-rich phase, island-shaped Ti–Cu phase, a Ti–Cu–Ni alloy layer between filler and base metal, and diffusion of titanium into the Inconel 718 alloys. With increasing joining temperature, the thickness increase of the Ti–Cu–Ni alloy layer was much greater than that of the reaction layer. Thus the diffusion rate of titanium into the base metal was much greater than the reaction rate with silicon nitride. This behaviour of titanium results in the formation of a Ti–Cu–Ni alloy layer in all the joints. The formation of these layers was the cause of the strength degradation of the Si3N4/Inconel 718 alloy joints. This fact was supported by the analyses of fracture path after four-point bending strength tests.

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