Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Material Science and Engineering


Shailendra K. Varma


The oxidation response of various niobium based refractory alloys from the Nb-Mo-Si-B-X alloy system has been examined at temperatures between 700 and 1400°C in air. The development of these alloys was part of an ongoing effort to develop and discover a new materials system capable of replacing nickel based super alloys. Additions of titanium were found to provide limited oxidation resistance. A discontinuous layer of TiO2 was observed to from at temperatures above 1100°C. Alloys containing titanium additions were observed to suffer from pest oxidation at low and intermediate temperatures due to the development of Nb2O5. Poor oxidation resistance at intermediate temperatures for alloys with titanium additions was attributed to a transformation in the structure of Nb2O5 formed. Additions of chromium were observed to increase oxidation resistance through the development of a layered oxide structure containing SiO2 and CrNbO4. An intermediate oxidation layer was observed to develop along the oxide metal interface in which the solid solution was not oxidized. These alloys were found to be susceptible to pest oxidation at intermediate and low oxidation temperatures between 700 and 1000°C. Boron and molybdenum content was modified and shown to suppress pest oxidation at 700°C. Modified molybdenum content led to the development of molybdenum based α primary solid solution instead of niobium. Alloys with modified molybdenum and boron content were found to have the best oxidation resistance surviving 168 hours of cyclic oxidation at 1400°C. Transient oxidation behavior was observed in thermal gravimetric results collected at 1200°C in the alloys with modified boron and molybdenum content and attributed to the preferential oxidation of Nb5Si3. Oxidation behavior was characterized by the weight change per surface area method and by thermal gravimetric analysis. Oxidation products were characterized by x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy in several modes including backscatter imaging, secondary imaging, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and x-ray mapping.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

105 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Benedict Isabel Portillo