Intermetallics such as nickel aluminides have been of particular interest due to their excellent high temperature properties such as strength and corrosion resistance. These properties have made nickel aluminides an attractive material to the aerospace industry for applications such as gas turbine engines where high temperature corrosion and oxidation resistance are vital.
Previous research has shown how additions of lithium to certain intermetallic alloys increases their mechanical strength as well as improving other properties. Further improvements to their properties only serves to make nickel aluminides an even better candidate for commercial applications.
Other research indicates that nickel aluminides may have their low temperature properties improved by the addition of small amounts of other alloying elements.
Recent research work, published under AZojomo (OARS), by G. Rosas, R. Esparza, A. Bedolla, O. Flores and R. Pérez from Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, explores the effects of the additions of lithium to produce intermetallic phases in the Ni-Al alloy system and evaluates the mechanical properties and structural characteristics induced by these compositional changes.
The experimental results indicate an improvement in the mechanical properties not only when lithium content was increased but also when samples were homogenized. Specifically, deformation and elongation are improved through lithium additions, while ductility improves following heat treatment.