Incorporating elasticity into CALPHAD-informed density-based grain boundary phase diagrams reveals segregation transition in Al-Cu and Al-Cu-Mg alloys

Wang, L. and Darvishi Kamachali, R.

Volume: 199 Pages:
DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2021.110717
Published: 2021

The phase-like behavior of grain boundaries (GBs), recently evidenced in several materials, is opening up new possibilities in the design of alloy microstructures. In this context, GB phase diagrams are contributing to a predictive description of GB segregation and (interfacial) phase changes. The influence of chemo-mechanical solute-GB interactions on the GB phase diagram remains elusive so far. This is particularly important for multi-component alloys where the elastic interactions among solute atoms, of various sizes and bonding energies, can prevail, governing a complex co-segregation phenomenon. Recently, we developed a density-based model for GB thermodynamics that intrinsically accounts for GB elasticity in pure elements. In this work, we incorporate the homogeneous and heterogeneous elastic energies associated with the solutes into the density-based framework. We derive the multi-component homogeneous elastic energy by generalizing the continuum misfitting sphere model and extend it for GBs. The density-based free energy functional directly uses bulk CALPHAD thermodynamic data. The model is applied to binary and ternary Al alloys. We reveal that the elastic energy can profoundly affect the GB solubility and segregation behavior, leading to Cu segregation in otherwise Cu-depleted Al GBs. Consequently, GB segregation transition, i.e., a jump in the GB segregation as a function of alloy composition, is revealed in Al-Cu and Al-Cu-Mg alloy systems with implications for subsequent GB precipitation in these alloys. CALPHAD-informed elasticity-incorporated GB phase diagrams enable addressing a broader range of GB phenomena in engineering multi-component alloys. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.

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