Heterogenous columnar-grained high-entropy alloys produce exceptional resistance to intermediate-temperature intergranular embrittlement

B. X. Cao, H. J. Kong, L. Fan, J. H. Luan, Z. B. Jiao, J. J. Kai, T. Yang, C. T. Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


High-entropy alloys (HEAs) strengthened by coherent nanoparticles show great potentials for elevated-temperature structural applications, which however, generally suffer from a severe intergranular embrittlement when tested at intermediate temperatures. In this study, we demonstrated a novel “heterogenous columnar-grained” (HCG) approach that can effectively overcome this thorny problem. Different from the equiaxed counterpart which shows extreme brittleness along grain boundaries at 800 °C, the newly developed HCG-HEA exhibits an exceptionally high resistance to intergranular fractures originating from the unique grain-boundary characters and distributions. The presence of heterogenous columnar grain structure drastically suppresses the crack nucleation and propagation along with boundaries, resulting in an unusually large tensile ductility of ~18.4 % combined with a high yield strength of ~652 MPa at 800 °C. This finding provides a new insight into the innovative design of high-temperature materials with extraordinary mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113622
JournalScripta Materialia
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021


  • grain boundary embrittlement
  • grain boundary structure
  • high-entropy alloy
  • precipitation strengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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