Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Iver E. Anderson


A novel gas atomization reaction synthesis (GARS) method was utilized to produce precursor Ni-Cr-Y-Ti powder with a surface oxide and an internal rare earth (RE)-containing intermetallic. Although Al is necessary for industrial superalloy production, the Ni-Cr base alloy system was selected as a simplified system more amenable to characterization. This was done in an effort to better study the effects of processing parameters. Consolidation and heat-treatment were performed to promote the exchange of oxygen from the surface oxide to the RE intermetallic to form nanometric oxide dispersoids.

Alloy selection was aided by an internal oxidation and serial grinding experiment that found that Hf-containing alloys may form more stable dispersoids than Ti-containing alloys, but the Hf-containing system exhibited five different oxide phases and two different intermetallics compared to the two oxide phases and one intermetallic in the Ti-containing alloys. Since the simpler Ti-containing system was easier to characterize, and make observations on the effects of processing parameters, the Ti-containing system was used for experimental atomization trials. An internal oxidation model was used to predict the heat treatment times necessary for dispersoid formation as a function of powder size and temperature.

A new high-pressure gas atomization (HPGA) nozzle was developed with the aim of promoting fine powder production at scales similar to that of the high gas-flow and melt-flow of industrial atomizers. The atomization nozzle was characterized using schlieren imaging and aspiration pressure testing to determine the optimum melt delivery tip geometry and atomization pressure to promote enhanced secondary atomization mechanisms.

Six atomization trials were performed to investigate the effects of gas atomization pressure and reactive-gas concentration on the particle size distribution (PSD). Also, the effect on the rapidly solidified microstructure (as a function of powder size) was investigated as a function of reactive-gas composition and bulk alloy composition. The results indicate that the pulsation mechanism and optimum PSDs reported in the literature were not observed. Also, it was determined that reactive gas may marginally improve the PSD, but further experiments are required. The oxygen content in the gas was also not found to be detrimental to the microstructure (i.e., did not catalyze nucleation), but may have removed potent catalytic nucleation sites, although not enough to significantly alter the microstructure.

Overall, the downstream injection of oxygen was not found to significantly affect either the PSD or undercooling (as inferred from microstructure and XRD observations), but injection further upstream, including in the gas atomization nozzle, remains to be investigated.


Copyright Owner

John Meyer



File Format


File Size

133 pages