Unstructured islands within metal alloys for harder materials

The paradigm of the hierarchical deformation mechanism is proposed for HEAs based on equatorial CrCoNi that undergo higher degrees of deformation. Elastic deformation, dislocation plasticity, twinning-induced plasticity, TRIP, and finally solid state amorphization. Starting the next mechanism requires the creation of additional defects, i.e. dislocations and / or punctual defects (which are empty). These multiple mechanisms can interact, creating a synergy of reinforcement processes and consequently a very complex microstructure. Credit: University of San Diego, California

Thanks to these high entropies, there are applications in transport, energy and defense.

An international team of researchers produced islands of amorphous non-crystalline material within new metal alloys known as high-entropy alloys.

This discovery opens the door for them to land on gear, pipes and cars. New materials can be lighter, safer and more energy efficient.

Researchers at the University of San Diego and Berkeley in California, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Oxford, Specifies the findings published on January 29, 2021 Advances in science.

“These have great potential to increase strength and hardness because metallic glasses (amorphous metals) have tremendous strength compared to crystalline metals and alloys,” said Marc Meyers, professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego, and author of the paper.

Using transmission electron microscopy that can identify the arrangement of atoms, the researchers concluded that this amorphization is caused by high-speed extreme deformation. It is a new deformation mechanism that can further increase the strength and hardness of these high entropy alloys.

The research is based on seminal work by Brian Cantor of Oxford University and Jien-Wei Yeh National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. In 2004, the two researchers led teams that reported the discovery of high-entropy alloys. This led to a global search for new materials of the same class, driven by a wide range of potential applications in the transportation, energy and defense industries.

“Significant developments and discoveries in metal alloys are relatively rare,” Meyers said.

Reference: “Amorphization in extreme deformation with high entropy CrMnFeCoNi alloy“By Shiteng Zhao, Zezhou Li, Chaoyi Zhu, Wen Yang, Zhouran Zhang, David EJ Armstrong, Patrick S. Grant, Robert O. Ritchie and Marc A. Meyers, on January 29, 2021, Advances in science.
DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abb3108

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