Ni nanoparticles were successfully used to join Inconel 718 via transient liquid phase (TLP) bonding in a vacuum environment. Ni nanoparticles of 20 nm, 29 nm, and 41 nm in diameter were synthesized by controlling the reducing agent injection rate and joined at up to 1050 °C and heating rate 5–15 °C/min. Based on the Gibbs-Thomson equation and surface melting models, joining using Ni nanoparticles occurs due to competing solid-state sintering and surface melting processes. It was found that faster heating rate; higher maximum bonding temperature, and larger particle size resulted in higher bonding strength. Using a faster heating rate suppresses the amount of solid-state particle-particle sintering that occurs at lower temperatures, where particle-Inconel 718 joining is less active. The suppression of particle-particle sintering as a function of particle diameter is also discussed. The maximum bonding strength achieved is 243 MPa. The fracture surface for Ni nanoparticle-bonded joints demonstrated intergranular fracture (low strength joints) and a combination of cleavage and microvoid coalescence (high strength joints).

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