Solid-Solution Strengthening and Suzuki Segregation in Co- and Ni-based Alloys
Co and Ni are two major elements in high temperature structural alloys that include superalloys for turbine engines and hard metals for cutting tools. The recent development of complex concentrated alloys (CCAs), loosely defined as alloys without a single principal element (e.g. CoNiFeMn), offers additional opportunities in designing new alloys through extensive composition and structure modifications. Within CCAs and Co- and Ni-based superalloys, solid-solution strengthening and stacking fault energy engineering are two of the most important strengthening mechanisms. While studied for decades, the potency and quantitative materials properties of these mechanisms remain elusive.
Solid-solution strengthening originates from stress field interactions between dislocations and solute of various species in the alloy. These stress fields can be engineered by composition modification in CCAs, and therefore a wide range of alloys with promising mechanical strength may be designed. This thesis initially reports on experimental and computational validation of newly developed theories for solid-solution strengthening in 3d transition metal (MnFeCoNi) alloys. The strengthening effects of Al, Ti, V, Cr, Cu and Mo as alloying elements are quantified by coupling the Labusch-type strengthening model and experimental measurements. With large atomic misfits with the base alloy, Al, Ti, Mo, and Cr present strong strengthening effects comparable to other Cantor alloys.
Stacking fault energy engineering can enable novel deformation mechanisms and exceptional strength in face-centered cubic (FCC) materials such as austenitic TRIP/TWIP steels and CoNi-based superalloys exhibiting local phase transformation strengthening via Suzuki segregation. We employed first-principles calculations to investigate the Suzuki segregation and stacking fault energy of the FCC Co-Ni binary alloys at finite temperatures and concentrations. We quantitatively predicted the Co segregation in the innermost plane of the intrinsic stacking fault (ISF). We further quantified the decrease of stacking fault energy due to segregation.
We further investigated the driving force of segregation and the origin of the segregation behaviors of 3d, 4d and 5d elements in the Co- and Ni-alloys. Using first-principles calculations, we calculated the ground-state solute-ISF interaction energies and revealed the trends across the periodic table. We discussed the relationships between the interaction energies and the local lattice distortions, charge density redistribution, density of states and local magnetization of the solutes.
Finally, this thesis reports on new methodologies to accelerate first-principles calculations utilizing active learning techniques, such as Bayesian optimization, to efficiently search for the ground-state energy line of the system with limited computational resources. Based on the expected improvement method, new acquisition strategies were developed and will be compared and presented.
CAREER: High temperature strengthening via solute-enhanced stacking faults in structural alloys
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