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Size-dependent deformation behavior of dual-phase, nanostructured CrCoNi medium-entropy alloy

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  • ReceivedMar 28, 2020
  • AcceptedApr 29, 2020
  • PublishedJul 29, 2020

Abstract


Funding

the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects Grant

the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(SWU118105)

Australia Research Council(DE170100053)

and the Robinson Fellowship Scheme of the University of Sydney(G200726)


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects Grant, and partly supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (SWU118105). An X acknowledges the financial support from Australia Research Council (DE170100053) and the Robinson Fellowship Scheme of the University of Sydney (G200726). The authors acknowledge the facilities and the scientific and technical assistance of the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility (ammrf.org.au) node at the University of Adelaide: Adelaide Microscopy. In particular, the authors thank Dr Animesh Basak and Dr Ashley Slattery of Adelaide Microscopy for their support and expertise.


Interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Contributions statement

Chen Y, Xie Z, An X and Zhang S conceived the project. Chen Y conducted the FIB, microcompression and TEM experiments. Zhou Z fabricated the samples. Chen Y, An X, Liao X and Xie Z interpreted the results and wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the discussion of the results, and comments on the manuscript.


Author information

Yujie Chen obtained her BEng degree (first-class honors) in 2011 and PhD degree in materials science in 2016 from The University of Sydney. Upon completion of her PhD, she was employed as a postdoc in the School of Mechanical Engineering in the University of Adelaide in Australia. She is currently a research fellow in the Southwest University in China. Her current research involves microstructure optimization and mechanical properties enhancement of alloys, and calcified tissues.


Xianghai An received his PhD degree from the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2012. After receiving his PhD degree, he commenced to work as a research fellow at The University of Sydney. He is currently a Lecture/Robinson Fellow at The University of Sydney. His research mainly focuses on materials design, mechanical behavior, and structure-property relationship of advanced metallic materials, nanomechanics and nanoplasticity, metallic additive manufacturing and advanced materials processing.


Sam Zhang received his PhD degree (1991) in ceramic materials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. He joined Nanyang Technological University as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 2006. He is currently a professor and head of the Center for Advanced Thin Films and Devices in the Southwest University in China. He is also Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Fellow of the Thin Films Society. His research interests include preparation and characterization of hard yet tough ceramic nanocomposite coatings, and functional thin films.


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  • Figure 1

    (a) A bright field TEM image of the as-deposited CrCoNi alloy showing the columnar structure containing a high density of planar defects; (b, c) STEM images of two separate grains showing the coexistence of HCP and FCC phases, as well as SFs and TBs.

  • Figure 2

    SEM images of undeformed and post-compressed pillars with diameters of (a, b) 1.45 µm, (d, e) 0.88 µm, (g, h) 0.23 µm; (c, f, i) engineering stress-strain curves corresponding to the pillars in (a, d, g), respectively.

  • Figure 3

    Yield stress versus pillar diameter for nanostructured CrCoNi alloy pillars.

  • Figure 4

    (a) A STEM image of the post-compressed pillar with a diameter of 1.45 µm failed catastrophically via shear banding. STEM images of the regions enclosed by (b) red rectangle, and (c) green rectangle in (a) showing the structure of shear bands. Magnified STEM images and the corresponding FFT (inset) of three selected regions: (d) near the shear band and (e) inside the shear band shown in (b), and (f) inside the shear band shown in (c).

  • Figure 5

    (a) An STEM image of the deformed pillar with a diameter of 0.88 µm in Fig. 2d, showing the two shear bands (SB1 and SB2). (b) A magnified STEM image of part of SB2. (c) An STEM image and its corresponding FFT (inset) exhibiting the FCC structure inside the shear band. (d, e) IFFT images of an L-C lock dislocation configurations inside the shear band. (f) An STEM image of the boundary between the sheared and un-sheared region indicating the misorientation and dislocations at the shear band boundary. (g) A shockley partial dislocation at FCC/HCP interfacial region. (h) An STEM image and its corresponding FFT (inset) demonstrating the highly deformed region beneath the top surface of the pillar that exhibits FCC-phased nanograins with the twin structure.

  • Figure 6

    Schematic illustration of the transition from catastrophic unsteady shear banding to stable and slow shear banding with decreasing pillar diameter. The minimum stress required for a shear band to fracture the pillar (blue solid line) crosses the experimental-measured flow stress (~4.2 GPa) when shear band initiates (green solid line) at a critical diameter, dc, where the transition between catastrophic and stable shear banding occurs. When the diameter is smaller than the critical size of ~0.93 µm, the strain energy raised by the flow stress is not high enough to allow for the shear band to fracture the pillar, thus, showing stable shear banding.

  • Figure 7

    The size effect on the deformation mode remains even if the tests were conducted on larger pillars with the same degree of tapering as the smaller ones. SEM images of undeformed and post-compressed pillars with the same tapering angle of 4.3°, but different diameters of (a, b) 1.25 µm, and (c, d) 0.4 µm.

  • Figure 8

    Schematic illustrations showing the structural evolution under shear banding in a nanostructured CrCoNi pillar.

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