SCIENCE CHINA Materials, Volume 63 , Issue 9 : 1797-1807(2020) https://doi.org/10.1007/s40843-020-1319-3

The tension-compression asymmetry of martensite phase transformation in a metastable Fe40Co20Cr20Mn10Ni10 high-entropy alloy

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  • ReceivedFeb 25, 2020
  • AcceptedMar 26, 2020
  • PublishedMay 29, 2020


Funded by

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51971247)

and the open Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy at Central South University




This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51971247), and the open Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy at Central South University, Changsha, China.

Interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Contributions statement

Wang Z and Song M designed the project. An X prepared the materials, conducted the mechanical testing, and performed the TEM. Wang Z performed the EBSD and ECCI. An X, Wang Z, Ni S, and Song M analyzed the microstructural evolution. An X, Wang Z, and Song M wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the discussion and commented on the manuscript.

Author information

Xinglong An is currently a PhD candidate with Prof. Song Ni and Prof. Min Song at Powder Metallurgy Research Institute, Central South University, China. His current research focuses on the microstructure characterization of metallic materials.

Zhangwei Wang is an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf, Germany. He received his PhD degree in engineering from Dartmouth College, USA in 2017. His research primarily focuses on the development of advanced high-entropy alloys and lightweight steels.

Min Song is a professor and Vise Dean of Powder Metallurgy Research Institute at Central South University. He serves as Associate Editor of “Materials Characterization”. He received his PhD degree in 2005 at Dartmouth College, USA. His current research interests involve the deformation mechanisms of metallic materials, including: metals and alloys, bulk nanocrystalline materials, HEAs and metal matrix composites.


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  • Figure 1

    Microstructures of the HEA in the homogenized state. Both EBSD phase map (a) and XRD (b) confirm the single FCC structure in this alloy. (c) Low-magnification ECC image corresponding to the identical region marked in (a); and (d) high-magnification ECC image corresponding to the identical region marked in (c).

  • Figure 2

    A dark field TEM image showing a dissociated dislocation in the 1% pre-strained HEA under the two-beam condition.

  • Figure 3

    The engineering (a) and true stress-strain (b) curves and corresponding strain hardening rate curves of the HEA under both tension and compression.

  • Figure 4

    EBSD phase maps of Fe40Co20Cr20Mn10Ni10 HEA at various strains of 0.1, 0.4 and 0.6 via (a–c) tension and (d–f) compression. (a–c) show EBSD maps of T1, T2, and T3, respectively, and (d–f) show EBSD maps of C1, C2, and C3, respectively.

  • Figure 5

    The ECC image (a) and BF TEM image (b) with its corresponding SAED in the right bottom corner showing the dislocation substructures of the T1 sample (tensile strain of 0.1).

  • Figure 6

    The ECC image (a) and HRTEM image (b) showing the deformation substructures of the T2 sample (tensile strain of 0.4). Green arrows indicate the martensite lamellae and the FFT-filtered image shows the phase boundary, as inserted in (b).

  • Figure 7

    The ECC images and TEM images showing the deformation microstructures of the T3 sample (tensile strain of 0.6). Both ECC image (a) and TEM image (b) show the martensite HCP lamellae (marked via green arrows) connected with shear bands. (c) TEM image with its corresponding SAED pattern shows the deformation twinning (marked via blue arrows). (d) TEM image with its corresponding SAED pattern shows several HCP plates (marked via green arrows) emitted from a low-angle grain boundary (marked via yellow dotted line). (e, f) HRTEM images showing the substructures at the low-angle grain boundary in (d) at atomic scales.

  • Figure 8

    The ECC and TEM images of HEA at compressive strains of (a–c) 0.1 (C1 sample), (d–f) 0.4 (C2 sample) and (g–i) 0.6 (C3 sample). (a) ECC images and (b, c) BF TEM images showing SFs and planar dislocations at a strain of 0.1. SFs are marked by red arrows and the inset in (a) shows the detailed morphology of SFs. The white rectangular box marked in (b) showing dislocations tangled at an annealing twin boundary. (d) ECC images, (e) BF TEM image, and (f) corresponding SAED pattern showing HCP net structures at a strain of 0.4. Two directional HCP lamellae with S-N relationship are marked via green and yellow arrows in (e) and (f). (g) ECC image, (h) BF TEM image with its corresponding SAED pattern, and (i) HRTEM image showing coarse HCP blocks at a strain of 0.6. The inserted SAED pattern in (h) indicates the dual phase of FCC and HCP structures. Green arrows indicate the coarse HCP block.

  • Figure 9

    The schematic illustration and TEM images showing the deformation microstructure evolution of HEA under tension and compression.

  • Table 1   The engineering and true stresses in HEA at low (0.1), medium (0.4) and high (0.6) strains during tension and compression

    True strain

    Engineering strain

    True stress (MPa)

    Engineering stress (MPa)





























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