Thermal ageing of nickel-base alloys can lead to the formation of brittle ordered phases, but the direct study of these phases is challenging. Nanoindentation is used in this study as an alternative technique to determine the extent of short-range ordering (SRO) in thermally aged Alloy 690 TT. Two methods are used for obtaining both qualitative (depth sensitivity) and quantitative (spatial stability) results, which are compared to data from metallography, microhardness and atomic force microscopy in order to discriminate between factors affecting the hardness. When intergranular precipitation and grain size become dominant factors with increasing indentation loads, nanoindentation at low loads enables to distinct within-grain hardness increase related to SRO.
- Alloy 690