Ferritic Oxide Dispersion Strengthened Alloys by Spark Plasma Sintering

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Spark plasma sintering (SPS) was used to consolidate a Fe–16Cr–3Al (wt.%) powder that was mechanically alloyed with Y2O3 and Ti powders to produce 0.5 Y2O3 and 0.5 Y2O3–1Ti powders. The effects of mechanical alloying and sintering conditions on the microstructure, relative density and hardness of the sintered oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) alloys are presented. Scanning electron microscopy indicated a mixed fine-grain and coarse-grain microstructure that was attributed to recrystallization and grain growth during sintering. Analysis of the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT) data identified Y–O and Y–O–Ti nanoclusters. Elemental ratios of these nanoclusters were consistent with that observed in hot-extruded ODS alloys. The influence of Ti was to refine the grains as well as the nanoclusters with there being greater number density and smaller sizes of the Y–O–Ti nanoclusters as compared to the Y–O nanoclusters. This resulted in the Ti-containing samples being harder than the Ti-free alloys. The hardness of the alloys with the Y–O–Ti nanoclusters was insensitive to sintering time while smaller hardness values were associated with longer sintering times for the alloys with the Y–O nanoclusters. Pressures greater than 80 MPa are recommended for improved densification as higher sintering temperatures and longer sintering times at 80 MPa did not improve the relative density beyond 97.5%.