JOURNAL ARTICLE

Accelerated exploration of multi-principal element alloys with solid solution phases

O N Senkov, J D Miller, D B Miracle, C Woodward
Nature Communications 2015, 6: 6529
25739749
Recent multi-principal element, high entropy alloy (HEA) development strategies vastly expand the number of candidate alloy systems, but also pose a new challenge--how to rapidly screen thousands of candidate alloy systems for targeted properties. Here we develop a new approach to rapidly assess structural metals by combining calculated phase diagrams with simple rules based on the phases present, their transformation temperatures and useful microstructures. We evaluate over 130,000 alloy systems, identifying promising compositions for more time-intensive experimental studies. We find the surprising result that solid solution alloys become less likely as the number of alloy elements increases. This contradicts the major premise of HEAs--that increased configurational entropy increases the stability of disordered solid solution phases. As the number of elements increases, the configurational entropy rises slowly while the probability of at least one pair of elements favouring formation of intermetallic compounds increases more rapidly, explaining this apparent contradiction.

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