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Cracking in gas turbine blades was found to initiate from a mechanism of low-cycle fatigue (LCF). LCF is induced during thermal loading cycles in gas turbines. However, metallography of two cracked blades revealed a change in microstructure at as-cast surfaces for depths up to 0.41 mm (0.016 in.). Evaluation by SEM confirmed the difference in structure was associated with a lack of formation of coarse gamma prime structure in the matrix. Microhardness and miniature tensile test results indicated lower strength consistent with the absence of the coarse gamma prime constituent. The blade vendor found that the lot of hot...

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