Oxidation resistance of Ni-base single crystal superalloy is substantially improved when melted using a CaO crucible compared to that melted using an Al2O3 crucible. In order to understand the underlying mechanism, sulfur segregation at the oxide/substrate interfaces was characterized using aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) and three-dimensional atom probe (3DAP). Although sulfur segregation at the interface was detected in both samples, the peak concentration of sulfur was found to be much lower in the sample melted in the CaO crucible, and CaS inclusions were found near the sub-grain boundaries. These experimental results suggest that the improvement in the cyclic oxidation resistance using the CaO crucible is attributed to the suppression of S segregation at the oxide/substrate interface by the trapping of S by dissolved Ca.
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