Remarkable cryogenic strengthening and toughening in nano-coherent CoCrFeNiTi0.2 high-entropy alloys via energetically-tuning polymorphous precipitates

J. L. Yuan, Y. C. Wu, P. K. Liaw, J. H. Luan, Z. B. Jiao, J. Li, P. D. Han, J. W. Qiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In the present work, three kinds of precipitates with different morphologies, structures, sizes, and volume fractions were obtained via energetically-tuning the microstructures of the nano-precipitated CoCrFeNiTi0.2 high-entropy alloy (HEA). Subjected to the heavy cold rolling immediately after homogeneous precipitation, L12 structured spherical nano-particles with an average size of 16.5 nm rapidly grow into 200 nm-sized spherical ones due to Ostwald ripening. On the other hand, superfluous mechanical energy storage energetically facilitates the phase transformation from spherical L12 to rod-shaped D024 structures for initially formed nano-precipitates. Besides, some other newly formed nano-precipitates with an average size of 6.5 nm are available, originating from heavily plastically deformed-induced nucleated sites. Multi-scale precipitates interact with dislocations in different ways. The strengthening provided by dislocations cutting through smaller nano-particles and bypassing grown ones account for 57.7% and 42.3% of precipitation strengthening, respectively, while rod-shaped precipitates can act as equivalent interfaces to hinder dislocation movement. Their synergistic effect has achieved remarkable strengthening and toughening. Specially, dislocation slips dominate at 298 K, while stacking faults (SFs) assist plastic deformation at 77 K. Compared with 298 K, the yield strength (YS) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of the current HEAs at 77 K are increased by 38.9% and 38.2% to 1 GPa and 1.5 GPa, respectively, and the tensile strain is slightly increased to 35% instead of loss, realizing excellent strength and plasticity combination. Theoretically established strengthening models agree well room-temperature and cryogenic yield strengths experimentally. Moreover, the tensile elongation is effectively predicted by the Whitehouse-Clyne model. This strengthening strategy of energetically-tuning polymorphous precipitates provides the basic guidance to develop high-performance nano-precipitated alloys. The current strengthening and plasticity models can be employed to well predict the mechanical properties of such kinds of alloys at cryogenic temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143111
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2022


  • Coherent
  • Cryogenic
  • Deformation mechanisms
  • High-entropy alloys
  • Strengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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