Mu Li, Zhaohan Zhang, Arashdeep S.Thind, Guodong Ren, Rohan Mishra, and Katharine M Flores, Acta Materialia(2021)
The microstructure and mechanical properties of the equiatomic NbVZr alloy are reported. The laser-processed and as-cast samples both exhibit a dendritic BCC solid solution with hexagonal C14 and cubic C15 Laves phases in the interdendritic regions. The stability of the Laves phases is discussed based on first-principles total energy calculations. Nb is found to increase the stability of C14 and C15 phases. The Laves phases strengthen the material by acting as obstacles to dislocation motion, as evidenced by nanoindentation and TEM observations of deformed samples. A high concentration of stacking faults was observed in the Laves region, which confirms the low stacking fault energy predicted by first-principles calculations, and are expected to result in additional plasticity. This work serves as an example of a systematic study of the stability of intermetallic phases in refractory complex concentrated alloys using a high-throughput synthesis technique. Such phases play an important role in the overall mechanical properties of the alloy.