Effect of serrated grain boundary on tensile and creep properties of a precipitation strengthened high entropy alloy

JL Lee and PT Wang and KC Lo and PK Shen and NT Tsou and K Kakehi and H Murakami and CW Tsai and S Gorsse and AC Yeh, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF ADVANCED MATERIALS, 24, 2158043 (2023).

DOI: 10.1080/14686996.2022.2158043

In this study, tensile and creep deformation of a high-entropy alloy processed by selective laser melting (SLM) has been investigated; hot ductility drop was identified at first, and the loss of ductility at elevated temperature was associated with intergranular fracture. By modifying the grain boundary morphology from straight to serration, the hot ductility drop issue has been resolved successfully. The serrated grain boundary could be achieved by reducing the cooling rate of solution heat treatment, which allowed the coarsening of L1(2) structured gamma ' precipitates to interfere with mobile grain boundaries, resulting in undulation of the grain boundary morphology. Tensile and creep tests at 650 degrees C were conducted, and serrated grain boundary could render a significant increase in tensile fracture strain and creep rupture life by a factor of 3.5 and 400, respectively. Detailed microstructure analysis has indicated that serrated grain boundary could distribute strains more evenly than that of straight morphology. The underlying mechanism of deformation with grain boundary serration was further demonstrated by molecular dynamic simulation, which has indicated that serrated grain boundaries could reduce local strain concentration and provide resistance against intergranular cracking. This is the first study to tackle the hot ductility drop issue in a high-entropy alloy fabricated by SLM; it can provide a guideline to develop future high-entropy alloys and design post heat treatment for elevated temperature applications.

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