Irradiation damage in multicomponent equimolar alloys and high entropy alloys (HEAs)

Takeshi Nagase, Philip D Rack, Takeshi Egami
Microscopy 2014, 63 Suppl 1: i22
To maintain sustainable energy supply and improve the safety and efficiency of nuclear reactors, development of new and advanced nuclear materials with superior resistance to irradiation damage is necessary. Recently, a new generation of structural materials, termed as multicomponent equimolar alloys and/or high entropy alloys (HEAs), are being developed. These alloys consist of multicomponent elements for maximizing the compositional entropy, which stabilizes the solid solution phase. In this paper, preliminary studies on the irradiation damage in equimolar alloys and HEAs by High Voltage Electron Microscopy (HVEM) are reported [1-4]. (1) ZrHfNb equimolar alloys [1, 2]A multicomponent ZrHfNb alloy was prepared by a co-sputtering process using elemental Zr, Hf, and Nb targets using an AJA International ATC 2000-V system. A single-phase bcc solid solution was obtained in the ZrHfNb alloy with an approximately equiatomic ratio of its constituent elements. The irradiation-induced structural change in the ZrHfNb equimolar alloys with the bcc solid solution structure was investigated by HVEM using the Hitachi H-3000 installed at Osaka University. The polycrystalline bcc phase shows high phase stability against irradiation damage at 298 K; the bcc solid solution phase, whose grain size was about 20 nm, remained as a main constituent phase even after the severe irradiation damage that reached 10 dpa. (2) CoCrCuFeNi HEAs [3]A single-phase fcc solid solution was obtained in a CoCrCuFeNi alloy. The microstructure of the alloy depended on the preparation technique: a nanocrystalline CoCrCuFeNi alloy with an approximately equiatomic ratio of its constituent elements was obtained by a co-sputtering process with multi-targets, while polycrystalline structures were formed when the arc-melting method was used. Both nanocrystalline and polycrystalline structures showed high phase stability against fast electron irradiation at temperatures ranging from 298 K to 973 K; a fcc phase remained as the main constituent phase over 40 dpa of irradiation. The grain coarsening of the crystalline phase can be seen during the annealing in a nanocrystalline CoCrCuFeNi alloy, while the irradiation-induced grain coarsening did not occur at 773 K as well as at 298 K.

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