• R Balasubramaniam

      Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • Role of surface passive films in the hydrogen embrittlement of iron aluminides

      Arvind Agarwal R Balasubramaniam

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      The room temperature hydrogen embrittlement problem in iron aluminides has restricted their use as high temperature structural materials. Previous studies have established that surface films affect hydrogen embrittlement (HE). The effect of surface passive layer on the hydrogen embrittlement behaviour of iron aluminides has been critically reviewed in this presentation. The role of thermomechanical treatments in affecting the mechanical properties has been discussed from a processing-structure-properties correlation view point. The alloy development philosophy to yield ductile iron aluminides has been outlined based on this review. Novel iron aluminide intermetallics that are being currently synthesized and characterized along these lines at IIT Kanpur are finally introduced.

    • Deciphering the potentiodynamic polarization curves of iron aluminides Fe3Al and Fe3Al + Cr

      Sagato Mukherjee R Balasubramaniam

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      The potentiodynamic polarization curves of Fe3Al and Fe3Al + Cr intermetallics obtained in aerated pH 4 H2SO4 acidic solution have been theoretically analyzed. The role of chromium in minimizing the hydrogen embrittlement (HE) of the intermetallic Fe3Al (resulting in its poor ductility) has been addressed based on the analysis. In the case of the chromium-alloyed iron aluminide, calculations indicate that hydrogen liberation does not occur on the surface due to the shift of the corrosion mixed potential to a value nobler than the electrode potential for the hydrogen evolution reaction. This shift occurs due to the induction of passivity on alloying with Cr resulting in the formation of a passive film. The minimization of HE of iron aluminides on alloying with Cr can thus be understood.

    • Effect of electrolyte temperature on the polarization characteristics of an Al-Li-Cu-Mg alloy in NaOH

      C Thakur R Balasubramaniam

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      The effect of electrolyte temperature on the polarization characteristics of an Al-Li alloy of composition Al-1·90 Li-1·80 Cu-1·00Mg-0·09Zr in 0·1 M NaOH solution was studied by the potentiodynamic polarization method. The electrolyte temperature was the equilibrium temperature established due to the prevailing weather conditions at different times in the year. The alloys exhibited active-passive behaviour at all the temperatures. It was found that the temperature of electrolyte affected the polarization behaviour of the alloys. The zero current potential and the open circuit potential were nobler with decreasing temperature. The corrosion current density, critical current density and passive current density increased with temperature, indicating the activated nature of the electrochemical process. The passive range was higher at 35°C compared to other temperatures. The temperature effect on polarization behaviour has also been explained by considering the dissolved oxygen concentration in the electrolyte at different temperatures. The ennoblement of Cu on the Al-Li alloy surface has also been addressed.

    • Hydrogen diffusivity in FeAl

      P Banerjee R Balasubramaniam

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      The room temperature diffusivity of hydrogen in a fully B2 ordered iron aluminide of composition Fe-35·8 Al was estimated from the experimental hydrogen depth profile to be 2·38×10−15m2/s. The mathematical procedure utilized for data analysis has been described. The estimated diffusivity is a lower bound value due to surface trapping effects.

    • Surface film characteristics of Al-Li-Cu-Mg alloys in 0·1 N NaOH

      C Thakur R Balasubramaniam

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      The nature of surface films that form under free corrosion conditions, and their effect on the subsequent polarization behaviour of an Al-1·90Li-1·80Cu-1·00Mg-0·09Zr alloy in 0·1 mol/l NaOH solution at 35°C have been studied. The variation of open circuit potential (OCP) as a function of time is characteristic for the alloy in the electrolyte. It initially changes in the noble direction with the surface of the specimen being enveloped by a black coating, and, later, when the black coating is punctured at some localized regions, the OCP shifts and stabilizes at an active value of −1450 mV vs saturated calomel electrode (SCE). X-ray diffraction analysis of the surface film layer indicates that it consists of essentially lithium aluminum hydroxide at shorter immersion time, and lithium aluminum hydroxide and copper hydroxide after longer immersion time in the electrolyte. The scale morphology as a function of immersion time has also been studied by scanning electron microscopy. Polarization experiments conducted after 2 and 15 h of immersion revealed that the alloy exhibited active-passive type polarization behaviour in both the cases. The polarization behaviour of the specimen immersed for longer times has been explained by considering Cu ennoblement on the surface. It was also observed that the hydride LiAlH4 forms on the surface regions of the alloy under free corrosion conditions.

    • Environmental effects in iron aluminides

      R Balasubramaniam

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      Iron aluminides based on the stoichiometric compositions of Fe3Al and FeAl exhibit poor room temperature ductilities due to hydrogen embrittlement (HE). The presence of surface passive films reduces HE. The reduction is due to the lower rate of hydrogen liberation on the surface of iron aluminides with a passive layer. Theoretical and experimental verification for this idea are provided. The effect of addition of passivity-inducing elements Ti, Zr, V, Nb, Ta, Cr, Mo, W, Si and Ni to Fe3Al on the thermomechanical and electrochemical behaviour has been outlined. The Cr- and Ti-alloyed intermetallics exhibited significant room temperature ductilities. Microstructural studies of the alloyed intermetallics revealed that when the addition of passivity-inducing element results in the precipitation of brittle phases with Fe and Al, they crack during the processing operation. The addition of oxygen-active elements on the embrittlement behaviour is also discussed. The effect of these additions on the potentiodynamic polarization behaviour and high temperature oxidation behaviour is also briefly addressed. Methods to minimize HE by the addition of elements that irreversibly trap hydrogen and that prevent recrystallization have also been discussed.

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