Investigation into nanoscratching mechanical response of AlCrCuFeNi high-entropy alloys using atomic simulations

ZN Wang and J Li and QH Fang and B Liu and LC Zhang, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, 416, 470-481 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2017.04.009

The mechanical behaviors and deformation mechanisms of scratched AlCrCuFeNi high entropy alloys (HEAs) have been studied by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, in terms of the scratching forces, atomic strain, atomic displacement, microstructural evolution and dislocation density. The results show that the larger tangential and normal forces and higher friction coefficient take place in AlCrCuFeNi HEA due to its outstanding strength and hardness, and high adhesion and fracture toughness over the pure metal materials. Moreover, the stacking fault energy (SFE) in HEA increases the probability to initiate dislocation and twinning, which is conducive to the formation of complex deformation modes. Compared to the single element metal workpieces, the segregation potency of solutes into twinning boundary (TB) is raised due to the decreasing segregation energy of TB, resulting in the stronger solute effects on improving twinning properties for HEA workpiece. The higher dislocation density and the more activated slipping planes lead to the outstanding plasticity of AlCrCuFeNi HEA. The solute atoms as barriers to hinder the motion of dislocation and the severe lattice distortion to suppress the free slipping of dislocation are significantly stronger obstacles to strengthen HEA. The excellent comprehensive scratching properties of the bulk AlCrCuFeNi HEAs are associated with the combined effects of multiple strengthening mechanisms, such as dislocation strengthening, deformation twinning strengthening as well as solute strengthening. This work provides a basis for further understanding and tailoring SFE in mechanical properties and deformation mechanism of HEAs, which maybe facilitate the design and preparation of new HEAs with high performance. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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