Heat Treatment of Cast Nickel-Base Alloys
Cast nickel-base alloys are used extensively in corrosive-media and high-temperature applications. This article briefly reviews the common types of heat treatments of nickel alloy castings: homogenization, stress relieving, in-process annealing, full annealing, solution annealing, quenching, coating diffusion, and precipitation. It describes the three general strengthening mechanisms, namely, solid-solution hardening, age hardening, and carbide precipitation. The article summarizes the typical heat treatment of the general families of nickel-base castings used in industrial applications. It focuses on the solution treatment and age hardening of cast nickel-base superalloys and the heat treatment of cast solid-solution alloys for corrosion-resisting applications. The article also discusses the typical types of atmospheres used in annealing or solution treating: exothermic, endothermic, dry hydrogen, dry argon, and vacuum.