Honors College Thesis

Deformation Reduction in Intermetallic NiAl Microlaminations

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  • One method of fabricating intermetallic nickel-aluminum MECS devices involves diffusion bonding together pre-patterned elemental foils of nickel and aluminum. This process shows good potential for the mass-production of NiAl devices, but several quality issues remain. Of large concern is the deformation of internal features during the bonding process. This research investigates the cause of deformation in the NiAl laminae and possible solutions. Experimental evidence shows that deformation is directly linked to the foil layering order. A photographic technique is used to show lamina surface features are the same on both sample sides, eliminating faulty equipment. Additionally four test samples with different foil layer arrangements are fabricated. Microprobe composition analysis and optical microscopy find several types of porosity, including Kirkendall porosity, as well as incomplete reactions and layer asymmetry. The foil layering order is found to correlate the formation of the defects. Possible methods for the elimination of lamina deformation are proposed.
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