Islands Without Structure Inside Metal Alloys Could Lead to Tougher Materials (Material Science)

These high-entropy allows have applications in transportation, energy and defense

An international team of researchers produced islands of amorphous, non-crystalline material inside a class of new metal alloys known as high-entropy alloys.

This discovery opens the door to applications in everything from landing gears, to pipelines, to automobiles. The new materials could make these lighter, safer, and more energy efficient.

The team, which includes researchers from the University of California San Diego and Berkeley, as well as Carnegie Mellon University and University of Oxford, details their findings in the Jan. 29 issue of Science Advances.

“These present a bright potential for increased strength and toughness since metallic glasses (amorphous metals) have a strength that is vastly superior to that of crystalline metals and alloys,” said Marc Meyers, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego, and the paper’s corresponding author.

Using transmission electron microscopy, which can identify the arrangement of atoms, the researchers concluded that this amorphization is triggered by extreme deformation at high velocities. It is a new deformation mechanism that can increase the strength and toughness of these high entropy alloys even further.

The research is based on seminal work by Brian Cantor at the University of Oxford, and Jien-Wei Yeh at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. In 2004, both researchers led teams that reported the discovery of high-entropy alloys. This triggered a global search for new materials in the same class, driven by numerous potential applications in the transportation, energy, and defense industries.

“Significant new developments and discoveries in metal alloys are quite rare,” Meyers said.

Featured image: Proposed hierarchical deformation mechanism paradigm for the equiatomic CrCoNi-based HEAs subjected to increasing degrees of deformation. © UC San Diego


Reference: Shiteng Zhao, Zezhou Li, Chaoyi Zhu, Wen Yang et al., “Amorphization in extreme deformation of the CrMnFeCoNi high-entropy alloy”, Science Advances 29 Jan 2021: Vol. 7, no. 5, eabb3108 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb3108 https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/5/eabb3108


Provided by University of California San Diego

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s