A fracture-resistant high-entropy alloy for cryogenic applications

Published on Sep 5, 2014in Science41.845
· DOI :10.1126/SCIENCE.1254581
Bernd Gludovatz36
Estimated H-index: 36
(LBNL: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory),
Anton Hohenwarter30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Austrian Academy of Sciences)
+ 3 AuthorsRobert O. Ritchie132
Estimated H-index: 132
(University of California, Berkeley)
High-entropy alloys are equiatomic, multi-element systems that can crystallize as a single phase, despite containing multiple elements with different crystal structures. A rationale for this is that the configurational entropy contribution to the total free energy in alloys with five or more major elements may stabilize the solid-solution state relative to multiphase microstructures. We examined a five-element high-entropy alloy, CrMnFeCoNi, which forms a single-phase face-centered cubic solid solution, and found it to have exceptional damage tolerance with tensile strengths above 1 GPa and fracture toughness values exceeding 200 MPa·m 1/2 . Furthermore, its mechanical properties actually improve at cryogenic temperatures; we attribute this to a transition from planar-slip dislocation activity at room temperature to deformation by mechanical nanotwinning with decreasing temperature, which results in continuous steady strain hardening.
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