A precipitation-hardened high-entropy alloy with outstanding tensile properties

J. Y. He, H. Wang, H. L. Huang, X. D. Xu, M. W. Chen, Y. Wu, X. J. Liu, T. G. Nieh, K. An, Z. P. Lu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1063 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent studies indicated that high-entropy alloys (HEAs) possess unusual structural and thermal features, which could greatly affect dislocation motion and contribute to the mechanical performance, however, a HEA matrix alone is insufficiently strong for engineering applications and other strengthening mechanisms are urgently needed to be incorporated. In this work, we demonstrate the possibility to precipitate nanosized coherent reinforcing phase, i.e., L12-Ni3(Ti,Al), in a fcc-FeCoNiCr HEA matrix using minor additions of Ti and Al. Through thermomechanical processing and microstructure controlling, extraordinary balanced tensile properties at room temperature were achieved, which is due to a well combination of various hardening mechanisms, particularly precipitation hardening. The applicability and validity of the conventional strengthening theories are also discussed. The current work is a successful demonstration of using integrated strengthening approaches to manipulate the properties of fcc-HEA systems, and the resulting findings are important not only for understanding the strengthening mechanisms of metallic materials in general, but also for the future development of high-performance HEAs for industrial applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-196
    Number of pages10
    JournalActa Materialia
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1


    • 3 dimensional atom probe tomography
    • High-entropy alloys
    • Mechanical properties
    • Precipitation hardening
    • Strengthening mechanisms

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Ceramics and Composites
    • Polymers and Plastics
    • Metals and Alloys


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