Pressure castings of Ni3Al(IC218)/Al2O3 and Ni/Al2O3 composites, made with continuous DuPont FP α-Al2O3 and DuPont PRD166 α-Al2O3+20 wt pct partially stabilized ZrO2 20 μm diameter fibers, were examined by optical, scanning electron microscope (SEM), and transmission electron microscope (TEM) techniques. According to optical magnifications, excellent infiltration took place. However, in SEM and TEM magnifications, small gaps were found adjacent to regions where bonding had taken place between fibers. On the basis of available evidence, the gap formation was attributed to trapped gases and microshrinkage. Titanium was added to the metal to promote infiltration. Diffusion of Ti into the fibers of the Ni/Al2O3 composites occurred, but similar diffusion into the fibers of the IC218/Al2O3 composites did not take place. The qualitatively higher bond strength of the interfaces of the Ni/Al2O3 composites was ascribed to the diffusion of Ti into Al2O3. No interface reaction layer was found in any of the composites. Very little grain growth was found to take place in either the FP or PRD 166 fibers after casting and after a subsequent ten day anneal at 1150 °C.
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