Ductile CoCrFeNiMox high entropy alloys strengthened by hard intermetallic phases

W. H. Liu, Z. P. Lu, J. Y. He, J. H. Luan, Z. J. Wang, B. Liu, Yong Liu, M. W. Chen, C. T. Liu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    443 Citations (Scopus)


    Face-centered-cubic (fcc) type high entropy alloys (HEAs) exhibit outstanding ductility even at the liquid nitrogen temperature, but they are relatively weak in strength which is far from the requirements for practical structural applications. One of the general concepts employed previously in alloy design is the suppression of ‘brittle’ intermetallic compound formation which usually leads to a serious embrittlement. Surprisingly, we reveal in this study that the precipitation of hard σ and μ intermetallic compounds tremendously strengthened the CoCrFeNiMo0.3 HEA but without causing a serious embrittlement. It exhibits a tensile strength as high as 1.2 GPa and a good ductility of ∼19%. A careful study of the deformation behavior reveals that the fcc matrix exhibits an extremely high work hardening exponent of 0.75, which suppresses the propagation of microcracks originated at these brittle particles. Our work presents a very successful demonstration of using complex hard intermetallic particles to manipulate the properties of fcc-type HEA systems. Furthermore, lattice distortion has been carefully measured in powder-metallurgy materials by line broadening from X-ray diffraction (XRD). It is interesting to discover that lattice planes are highly distorted in HEAs and this distortion also contributes to solid solution hardening.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)332-342
    Number of pages11
    JournalActa Materialia
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1


    • Crack propagation
    • High entropy alloys
    • Intermetallic phase
    • Precipitation hardening
    • Strain hardening

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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