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Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 3;9(1):4063. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06600-8.

High-content ductile coherent nanoprecipitates achieve ultrastrong high-entropy alloys.

Author information

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, 100081, Beijing, China.
2
Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100190, Beijing, China.
3
Herbert Gleiter Institute of Nanoscience, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, 210094, Nanjing, China.
4
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, 100081, Beijing, China. xueyunfei@bit.edu.cn.
5
State Key Laboratory for Advanced Metals and Materials, University of Science and Technology Beijing, 100083, Beijing, China.
6
X-ray Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, 60439, USA.
7
Center for Advanced Mechanics and Materials, Applied Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, 100084, Beijing, China. xiaoyanlithu@tsinghua.edu.cn.
8
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, 100081, Beijing, China. wangfuchi@bit.edu.cn.

Abstract

Precipitation-hardening high-entropy alloys (PH-HEAs) with good strength-ductility balances are a promising candidate for advanced structural applications. However, current HEAs emphasize near-equiatomic initial compositions, which limit the increase of intermetallic precipitates that are closely related to the alloy strength. Here we present a strategy to design ultrastrong HEAs with high-content nanoprecipitates by phase separation, which can generate a near-equiatomic matrix in situ while forming strengthening phases, producing a PH-HEA regardless of the initial atomic ratio. Accordingly, we develop a non-equiatomic alloy that utilizes spinodal decomposition to create a low-misfit coherent nanostructure combining a near-equiatomic disordered face-centered-cubic (FCC) matrix with high-content ductile Ni3Al-type ordered nanoprecipitates. We find that this spinodal order-disorder nanostructure contributes to a strength increase of ~1.5 GPa (>560%) relative to the HEA without precipitation, achieving one of the highest tensile strength (1.9 GPa) among all bulk HEAs reported previously while retaining good ductility (>9%).

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