Two high Nb-containing TiAl alloys, Ti46.6Al7.5Nb0.5Si0.2B (Alloy A) and Ti46.1Al7.4Nb5C0.5Si0.2B (Alloy B), were prepared by graphite mold casting. As-cast microstructures of the two alloys were characterized to clarify the effect of carbon addition. The results show that 5 at.% carbon addition can change the primary solidification phase from β phase to α phase. The as-cast microstructure of Alloy A consists of a fully α2 + γ lamellar structure and interdendritic eutectic silicide with a volume fraction of 2.3%. However, in Alloy B, the lamellar structure only forms in the dendritic stem and the massive γ is observed in the interdendritic regions. Two types of carbides, Ti2AlC and TiC, are produced in Alloy B. A large number of randomly distributed primary Ti2AlC particles with volume fraction of 14.9% are observed in both the dendritic and interdendritic regions. Irregularly shaped TiC remains inside of the large Ti2AlC particle, suggesting TiC carbides transformed to Ti2AlC during cooling. The addition of carbon also changes the morphology of the silicides from a eutectic structure to a blocky structure in the massive γ matrix or at the interface of the Ti2AlC and the γ matrix. High level of niobium greatly increases the solid solution limit of carbon, since C content in the matrix is much higher than the solid solubility of that in the TiAl binary system. The hardness of the matrix increases from 325 HV to 917 HV caused by the addition of carbon.
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