Compact heat exchangers have high compactness and efficiency, which is achieved by joining a stack of chemically etched channeled plates through diffusion bonding. In the diffusion bonding process, compressive stress is applied on plates at elevated temperatures for a specified period. These conditions lead to atomic diffusion, which results in the joining of all plates into a monolithic block. The diffusion bonding temperatures are above recrystallization temperatures, which changes the mechanical and microstructural properties of the bonded metal. Hence, diffusion bonded material needs mechanical and microstructural property evaluation. In this study, Alloy 800H is selected to study the influence of the diffusion bonding process on mechanical and microstructure properties of base metal. A series of tensile, fatigue, creep, and creep-fatigue experiments are conducted on base metal 800H (BM 800H) and diffusion bonded 800H (DB 800H) to explore the mechanical properties. Microstructure evolution during diffusion bonding is studied and presented in the paper. The mechanical and microstructural observations indicated ductile fracture at room temperature and brittle failure with bond delamination at elevated temperatures. The microstructure evolution during diffusion bonding is studied through tensile, fatigue, creep and creep-fatigue tests, and the implied root causes for the mechanical property changes are investigated. Efforts are made to correlate the microstructure change with mechanical property change in DB 800H.

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