Symbiotic crystal-glass alloys via dynamic chemical partitioning

Wu, G. and Liu, C. and Brognara, A. and Ghidelli, M. and Bao, Y. and Liu, S. and Wu, X. and Xia, W. and Zhao, H. and Rao, J. and Ponge, D. and Devulapalli, V. and Lu, W. and Dehm, G. and Raabe, D. and Li, Z.

Volume: Pages:
DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2021.10.025
Published: 2021

The design of high performance structural materials is always pursuing combinations of excellent yet often mutually exclusive properties such as mechanical strength, ductility and thermal stability. Although crystal-glass composite alloys provide better ductility compared to fully amorphous alloys, their thermal stability is poor, due to heterogeneous nucleation at the crystal-glass interface. Here we present a new strategy to develop thermally stable, ultrastrong and deformable crystal-glass nanocomposites through a thermodynamically guided alloy design approach, which mimics the mutual stabilization principle known from symbiotic ecosystems. We realized this in form of a model Cr-Co-Ni (crystalline)/Ti-Zr-Nb-Hf-Cr-Co-Ni (amorphous) laminate composite alloy. The symbiotic alloy has an ultrahigh compressive yield strength of 3.6 GPa and large homogeneous deformation of ∼15% strain at ambient temperature, values which surpass those of conventional metallic glasses and nanolaminate alloys. Furthermore, the alloy exhibits ∼200 K higher crystallization temperature (TX > 973 K) compared to that of the original TiZrNbHf-based amorphous phase. The elemental partitioning among adjacent amorphous and crystalline phases leads to their mutual thermodynamic and mechanical stabilization, opening up a new symbiotic approach for stable, strong and ductile materials. © 2021 Elsevier Ltd

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