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Title: Design of Light-Weight High-Entropy Alloys

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ORCiD logo;
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1419603
Grant/Contract Number:
FE-0024054
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Entropy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 9; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2018-03-19 06:04:26; Journal ID: ISSN 1099-4300
Publisher:
MDPI AG
Country of Publication:
Switzerland
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Feng, Rui, Gao, Michael, Lee, Chanho, Mathes, Michael, Zuo, Tingting, Chen, Shuying, Hawk, Jeffrey, Zhang, Yong, and Liaw, Peter. Design of Light-Weight High-Entropy Alloys. Switzerland: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.3390/e18090333.
Feng, Rui, Gao, Michael, Lee, Chanho, Mathes, Michael, Zuo, Tingting, Chen, Shuying, Hawk, Jeffrey, Zhang, Yong, & Liaw, Peter. Design of Light-Weight High-Entropy Alloys. Switzerland. doi:10.3390/e18090333.
Feng, Rui, Gao, Michael, Lee, Chanho, Mathes, Michael, Zuo, Tingting, Chen, Shuying, Hawk, Jeffrey, Zhang, Yong, and Liaw, Peter. Tue . "Design of Light-Weight High-Entropy Alloys". Switzerland. doi:10.3390/e18090333.
@article{osti_1419603,
title = {Design of Light-Weight High-Entropy Alloys},
author = {Feng, Rui and Gao, Michael and Lee, Chanho and Mathes, Michael and Zuo, Tingting and Chen, Shuying and Hawk, Jeffrey and Zhang, Yong and Liaw, Peter},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.3390/e18090333},
journal = {Entropy},
number = 9,
volume = 18,
place = {Switzerland},
year = {Tue Sep 13 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Tue Sep 13 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.3390/e18090333

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 9works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

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  • The primary limitation of today’s lightweight structural alloys is that specific yield strengths (SYS) higher than 200MPa x cc/g (typical value for titanium alloys) are extremely difficult to achieve. This holds true especially at a cost lower than 5dollars/kg (typical value for magnesium alloys). Recently, high-entropy alloys (HEA) have shown promising SYS, yet the large composition space of HEA makes screening compositions complex and time-consuming. Over the course of this 2-year project we started from 150 billion compositions and reduced the number of potential low-density (<5g/cc), low-cost (<5dollars/kg) high-entropy alloy (LDHEA) candidates that are single-phase, disordered, solid-solution (SPSS) to amore » few thousand compositions. This was accomplished by means of machine learning to guide design for SPSS LDHEA based on a combination of recursive partitioning, an extensive, experimental HEA database compiled from 24 literature sources, and 91 calculated parameters serving as phenomenological selection rules. Machine learning shows an accuracy of 82% in identifying which compositions of a separate, smaller, experimental HEA database are SPSS HEA. Calculation of Phase Diagrams (CALPHAD) shows an accuracy of 71-77% for the alloys supported by the CALPHAD database, where 30% of the compiled HEA database is not supported by CALPHAD. In addition to machine learning, and CALPHAD, a third tool was developed to aid design of SPSS LDHEA. Phase diagrams were calculated by constructing the Gibbs-free energy convex hull based on easily accessible enthalpy and entropy terms. Surprisingly, accuracy was 78%. Pursuing these LDHEA candidates by high-throughput experimental methods resulted in SPSS LDHEA composed of transition metals (e.g. Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu) alloyed with Al, yet the high concentration of Al, necessary to bring the mass density below 5.0g/cc, makes these materials hard and brittle, body-centered-cubic (BCC) alloys. A related, yet multi-phase BCC alloy, based on Al-Cr-Fe-Ni, shows compressive strain >10% and specific compressive yield strength of 229 MPa x cc/g, yet does not show ductility in tensile tests due to cleavage. When replacing Cr in Al-Cr-Fe-based 4- and 5-element LDHEA with Mn, hardness drops 2x. Combined with compression test results, including those on the ternaries Al-Cr-Fe and Al-Mn-Fe suggest that Al-Mn-Fe-based LDHEA are still worth pursuing. These initial results only represent one compressive stress-strain curve per composition without any property optimization. As such, reproducibility needs to be followed by optimization to show their full potential. When including Li, Mg, and Zn, single-phase Li-Mg-Al-Ti-Zn LDHEA has been found with a specific ultimate compressive strength of 289MPa x cc/g. Al-Ti-Mn-Zn showed a specific ultimate compressive strength of 73MPa x cc/g. These initial results after hot isostatic pressing (HIP) of the ball-milled powders represent the lower end of what is possible, since no secondary processing (e.g. extrusion) has been performed to optimize strength and ductility. Compositions for multi-phase (e.g. dual-phase) LDHEA were identified largely by automated searches through CALPHAD databases, while screening for large face-centered-cubic (FCC) volume fractions, followed by experimental verification. This resulted in several new alloys. Li-Mg-Al-Mn-Fe and Mg-Mn-Fe-Co ball-milled powders upon HIP show specific ultimate compressive strengths of 198MPa x cc/g and 45MPa x cc/g, respectively. Several malleable quarternary Al-Zn-based alloys have been found upon arc/induction melting, yet with limited specific compressive yield strength (<75 MPa x cc/g). These initial results are all without any optimization for strength and/or ductility. High-throughput experimentation allowed us to triple the existing experimental HEA database as published in the past 10 years in less than 2 years which happened at a rate 10x higher than previous methods. Furthermore, we showed that high-throughput thin-film combinatorial methods can be used to get insight in isothermal phase diagram slices. Although it is straightforward to map hardness as a function of composition for sputtered, thin-film, compositional gradients by nano-indentation and compare the results to micro-indentation on bulk samples, the simultaneous impact of composition, roughness, film density, and microstructure on hardness requires monitoring all these properties as a function of location on the compositional gradient, including dissecting the impact of these 4 factors on the hardness map. These additional efforts impact throughput significantly. This work shows that a lot of progress has been made over the years in predicting phase formation that aids the discovery of new alloys, yet that a lot of work needs to be done to predict phases more accurately for LDHEA, whether done by CALPHAD or by other means. More importantly, more work needs to be done to predict mechanical properties of novel alloys, like yield strength, and ductility. Furthermore, this work shows that there is a need for the generation of an empirical alloy database covering strategic points in a multi-dimensional composition space to allow for faster and more accurate predictive interpolations to identify the oasis in the dessert more quickly. Finally, this work suggests that it is worth pursuing a ductile alloy with a SYS > 300 MPa x cc/g in a mass density range of 6-7 g/cc, since the chances for a single-phase or majority-phase FCC increase significantly. Today’s lightweight steels are in this density range.« less
  • Here, this report presents a design methodology for refractory high-entropy alloys with a body-centered cubic (bcc) structure using select empirical parameters (i.e., enthalpy of mixing, atomic size difference, Ω-parameter, and electronegativity difference) and CALPHAD approach. Sixteen alloys in equimolar compositions ranging from quinary to ennead systems were designed with experimental verification studies performed on two alloys using x-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Two bcc phases were identified in the as-cast HfMoNbTaTiVZr, whereas multiple phases formed in the as-cast HfMoNbTaTiVWZr. Observed elemental segregation in the alloys qualitatively agrees with CALPHAD prediction. Comparisons of the thermodynamic mixing properties formore » liquid and bcc phases using the Miedema model and CALPHAD are presented. This study demonstrates that CALPHAD is more effective in predicting HEA formation than empirical parameters, and new single bcc HEAs are suggested: HfMoNbTiZr, HfMoTaTiZr, NbTaTiVZr, HfMoNbTaTiZr, HfMoTaTiVZr, and MoNbTaTiVZr.« less
  • In this study, high-entropy alloys (HEAs) are new alloys that contain five or more elements in roughly-equal proportion. We present new experiments and theory on the deformation behavior of HEAs under slow stretching (straining), and observe differences, compared to conventional alloys with fewer elements. For a specific range of temperatures and strain-rates, HEAs deform in a jerky way, with sudden slips that make it difficult to precisely control the deformation. An analytic model explains these slips as avalanches of slipping weak spots and predicts the observed slip statistics, stress-strain curves, and their dependence on temperature, strain-rate, and material composition. Themore » ratio of the weak spots’ healing rate to the strain-rate is the main tuning parameter, reminiscent of the Portevin- LeChatellier effect and time-temperature superposition in polymers. Our model predictions agree with the experimental results. The proposed widely-applicable deformation mechanism is useful for deformation control and alloy design.« less
  • In this study, high-entropy alloys (HEAs) are new alloys that contain five or more elements in roughly-equal proportion. We present new experiments and theory on the deformation behavior of HEAs under slow stretching (straining), and observe differences, compared to conventional alloys with fewer elements. For a specific range of temperatures and strain-rates, HEAs deform in a jerky way, with sudden slips that make it difficult to precisely control the deformation. An analytic model explains these slips as avalanches of slipping weak spots and predicts the observed slip statistics, stress-strain curves, and their dependence on temperature, strain-rate, and material composition. Themore » ratio of the weak spots’ healing rate to the strain-rate is the main tuning parameter, reminiscent of the Portevin- LeChatellier effect and time-temperature superposition in polymers. Our model predictions agree with the experimental results. The proposed widely-applicable deformation mechanism is useful for deformation control and alloy design.« less
  • High configurational entropies have been hypothesized to stabilize solid solutions in equiatomic, multi-element alloys which have attracted much attention recently as high-entropy alloys with potentially interesting properties. To evaluate the usefulness of configurational entropy as a predictor of single-phase (solid solution) stability, we prepared five new equiatomic, quinary alloys by replacing individual elements one at a time in a CoCrFeMnNi alloy that was previously shown to be single-phase [1]. An implicit assumption here is that, if any one element is replaced by another, while keeping the total number of elements constant, the configurational entropy of the alloy is unchanged; therefore,more » the new alloys should also be single-phase. Additionally, the substitute elements that we chose, Ti for Co, Mo or V for Cr, V for Fe, and Cu for Ni, had the same room-temperature crystal structure and comparable size/electronegativity as the elements being replaced to maximize solid solubility consistent with the Hume-Rothery rules. For comparison, the base CoCrFeMnNi alloy was also prepared. After three-day anneals at elevated temperatures, multiple phases were observed in all but the base CoCrFeMnNi alloy suggesting that, by itself, configurational entropy is generally not able to override competing driving forces that also govern phase stability. Thermodynamic analyses were carried out for each of the constituent binaries in the investigated alloys (Co-Cr, Fe-Ni, Mo-Mn, etc,). Experimental results combined with the thermodynamic analyses suggest that, in general, enthalpy and non-configurational entropy have bigger influences on phase stability in equiatomic, multi-component alloys. Only when the alloy microstructure is a single-phase, approximately ideal solid solution does the contribution of configurational entropy to the total Gibbs free energy become dominant. Thus, high configurational entropy provides a way to rationalize, after the fact, why a solid solution forms (if it forms) but it is not a useful a priori predictor of which of the so-called high-entropy alloys will form single-phase solid solutions.« less