The role of cobalt in a representative wrought nickel-base superalloy was determined. The results show cobalt affecting the solubility of elements in the gamma matrix, resulting in enhanced gamma' volume fraction, in the stabilization of MC-type carbides, and in the stabilization of sigma phase. In the particular alloy studied, these microstructural and microchemistry changes are insufficient in extent to impact on tensile strength, yield strength, and in the ductilities. Depending on the heat treatment, creep and stress rupture resistance can be cobalt sensitive. In the coarse grain, fully solutioned and aged condition, all of the alloy's 17% cobalt can be replaced by nickel without deleteriously affecting this resistance. In the fine grain, partially solutioned and aged condition, this resistance is deleteriously affected only when one-half or more of the initial cobalt content is removed. The structure and property results are discussed with respect to existing theories and with respect to other recent and earlier findings on the impact of cobalt, if any, on the performance of nickel-base superalloys.
High Temp. Alloys for Gas Turbines Conference; 4-6 Oct. 1982; Liege; Belgium