Breaking the strength-ductility paradox in advanced nanostructured Fe-based alloys through combined Cu and Mn additions

H. J. Kong, T. Yang, R. Chen, S. Q. Yue, T. L. Zhang, B. X. Cao, C. Wang, W. H. Liu, J. H. Luan, Z. B. Jiao, B. W. Zhou, L. G. Meng, A. Wang, C. T. Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The strength-ductility paradox is a long-sought challenge for all engineering materials. In this study, we escaped the strength-ductility trade-off by engineering nano-scale heterogeneities carefully in the advanced nanostructured Fe-based alloys through alloying with Cu and Mn additions. We demonstrated a triple ductility enhancement by 20% together with a strength improvement of 100MPa compared to the alloys with sole Cu additions, overturning a common understanding of the strength-ductility trade-off. The strength-ductility enhancement is attributed to the complex interplay between the transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) and the coherent nano-scale Cu precipitates as well as the resultant heterogeneous stress–strain partitioning and dislocation interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalScripta Materialia
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Advanced nanostructured Fe-based alloys
  • Grain boundary precipitation
  • Nano-scale Cu precipitation
  • Strength-ductility paradox
  • Transformation induced plasticity (TRIP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys

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