Grain-size effects on the deformation in nanocrystalline multi-principal element alloy

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Roy, Ankit
Devanathan, Ram
Balasubramanian, Ganesh
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Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)
Johnson, Duane
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Materials Science and Engineering
Materials engineers create new materials and improve existing materials. Everything is limited by the materials that are used to produce it. Materials engineers understand the relationship between the properties of a material and its internal structure — from the macro level down to the atomic level. The better the materials, the better the end result — it’s as simple as that.
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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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Materials Science and EngineeringChemical and Biological EngineeringAmes National LaboratoryPhysics and Astronomy
Multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs) continue to garner great interest due to their potentially remarkable mechanical properties, especially at elevated temperatures for key structural and energy applications. Despite extensive literature examining material properties of MPEAs at various compositions, much less is reported about the role of grain size on the mechanical properties. Here, we examine a representative nanocrystalline BCC refractory MPEA and identify a crossover from a Hall-Petch to inverse-Hall-Petch relation. While the considered MPEA predominantly assumes a single-phase BCC lattice, the presence of grain boundaries imparts amorphous distributions that increase with decreasing grain size (i.e., increasing grain boundary volume fraction). Using molecular dynamics simulations, we find that the average flow stress of the MPEA increases with decreasing average grain size, but below a critical grain size of 23.2 nm the average flow stress decreases. This change in the deformation behavior is driven by the transition from dislocation slip to grain-boundary slip as the predominant mechanism. The crossover to inverse-Hall-Petch regime is correlated to dislocation stacking at the grain boundary when dislocation density reaches a maximum.
This is a manuscript of an article published as Roy, Ankit, Ram Devanathan, Duane D. Johnson, and Ganesh Balasubramanian. "Grain-size effects on the deformation in nanocrystalline multi-principal element alloy." Materials Chemistry and Physics 277 (2022): 125546. DOI: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2021.125546. Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V. Posted with permission. DOE Contract Number(s): AC02-07CH11358; WBS