Precipitation strengthening has been the basis of physical metallurgy since more than 100 years owing to its excellent strengthening effects. This approach generally employs coherent and nano-sized precipitates, as incoherent precipitates energetically become coarse due to their incompatibility with matrix and provide a negligible strengthening effect or even cause brittleness. Here we propose a shear band-driven dispersion of nano-sized and semicoherent precipitates, which show significant strengthening effects. We add aluminum to a model CoNiV medium-entropy alloy with a face-centered cubic structure to form the L21 Heusler phase with an ordered body-centered cubic structure, as predicted by ab initio calculations. Micro-shear bands act as heterogeneous nucleation sites and generate finely dispersed intragranular precipitates with a semicoherent interface, which leads to a remarkable strength-ductility balance. This work suggests that the structurally dissimilar precipitates, which are generally avoided in conventional alloys, can be a useful design concept in developing high-strength ductile structural materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)