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Design Solutes to Achieve Columnar-to-Equiaxed Transition and Grain Refinement in Cast Multi-principal-element Alloys

Publication Type
Journal Name
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1397 to 1408

The multi-principal-element alloys (MPEAs), also referred to as high-entropy alloys (HEAs), have attracted extensive attention during the last decade and a half due to their unique and excellent properties. However, many MPEAs show coarse and anisotropic columnar grains in the as-cast state. While constitutional supercooling (CS)-driven parameters have been widely used to evaluate and predict the effect of solutes on columnar-to-equiaxed transition (CET) and grain refinement of diluted binary alloys, similar studies are lacking on MPEAs. Due to the multiple solute elements (solutes) and their high concentrations, the CS-driven parameters for MPEAs are different from those proposed for diluted binary alloys. Here, we derived the CS-driven parameters, including undercooling parameter and growth restriction factor, for MPEAs based on their physical significances, with the help of calculated phase diagrams. The calculated CS-driven parameters were then used to predict the effect of a solute on CET and grain refinement in NiCoFeCr MPEAs. Additional alloying solutes Nb, Ti, and V in the NiCoFeCr MPEA were also evaluated for their different CS-driven characteristics. The grain size of the as-solidified microstructures of NiCoFeCr with and without Nb, Ti, and V were compared and interpreted with the predicted tendency of the CS-driven parameters.