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On the prediction and the formation of the sigma phase in CrMnCoFeNix high entropy alloys

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Christofidou, KA 
McAuliffe, TP 
Mignanelli, PM 
Stone, HJ 
Jones, NG 


The almost limitless variations in potential compositions of high entropy alloys necessitates the use of computational methods when attempting to optimise for any given application. However, the accuracy of the current thermodynamic approaches commonly being used for this purpose remains under debate, as relatively few validatory studies have been performed. Within the CrMnFeCoNi family of alloys, the formation of the σ phase and how it is influenced by compositional variations is of particular interest for elevated temperature structural applications. Here, the role of Ni on the formation of the σ phase has been studied through a systematic series of CrMnFeCoNix alloys, 0 ≤ x ≤ 1.5, following 1000 hour exposures at temperatures typically found to promote σ formation. Ni was found to have a significant effect on the phase stability of these alloys, suppressing the σ phase such that a single solid solution phase was the only stable phase in the CrMnFeCoNi1.5 alloy, whilst the CrMnFeCo alloy formed the σ phase during solidification. The corresponding thermodynamic predictions varied dramatically from the experimentally observed microstructures, indicating that the underlying databases require further optimisation. Interestingly, it was found that a relatively simple electronic structure based approach, New PhaComp, provided much more accurate predictions of the observed σ phase formation in the CrMnFeCoNix and CrMnxFeCoNi systems and could be manipulated to obtain σ formation temperatures. As such, this method could be extremely useful to those wanting to design CrMnFeCoNi high entropy alloys that are free from the σ phase.



High entropy alloys, Phase diagrams, Phase transitions, Thermodynamic modelling

Journal Title

Journal of Alloys and Compounds

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Elsevier BV
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/M005607/1)
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