Metastable high entropy alloys: An excellent defect tolerant material for additive manufacturing

Priyanshi Agrawal, Ravi Sankar Haridas, Saket Thapliyal, Surekha Yadav, Rajiv S. Mishra, Brandon A. McWilliams, Kyu C. Cho

Fatigue failure is ubiquitous in structural components. In additively manufactured (AM) components, the processing induced defects limit the fatigue performance. Further, the stochastic nature of defects in laser-powder bed fusion (L-PBF) make it difficult to predict the fatigue life in these components. In this work, we explored exceptional work hardening (WH) of a metastable Fe40Mn20Co20Cr15Si5 high entropy alloy (CS-HEA) to obtain high fatigue-resistance with L-PBF. Further, a fatigue life estimation tool based on the statistical size distribution of microstructural entities such as grains, pores and solid-state inclusions and, their mutual interaction was used to estimate the fatigue life of as-printed material. Upon deformation, CS-HEA exhibited γ (f.c.c.) → ε (h.c.p.) martensitic transformation and subsequent twinning in ε (h.c.p.) phase. Such deformation behavior resulted in sustained WH and is specifically beneficial in the vicinity of critical pores. A high normalized fatigue strength of 0.65 with respect to the yield strength was thus obtained in as-printed condition. Further, the model accurately predicted extended crack initiation life for CS-HEA. The current work therefore provides guidance towards developing defect-tolerant alloys for L-PBF and presents a tool for estimation of fatigue life of AM alloys with unconventional WH behavior.

Materials Science and Engineering
A, Volume 826, 2021, 142005, ISSN 0921-5093