Thermal Stability Comparison of Nanocrystalline Fe-Based Binary Alloy Pairs
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- Clark, B.G., Hattar, K., Marshall, M.T. et al. JOM (2016) 68: 1625. doi:10.1007/s11837-016-1868-3
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The widely recognized property improvements of nanocrystalline (NC) materials have generated significant interest; yet, they have been difficult to realize in engineering applications due to the propensity for grain growth in these interface-dominated systems. Although traditional pathways to thermal stabilization can slow the mobility of grain boundaries, recent theories suggest that solute segregation in NC alloys can reduce the grain boundary energy such that thermodynamic stabilization is achieved. Following the predictions of Murdoch et al., here we compare for the first time the thermal stability of a predicted NC stable alloy (Fe-10 at.% Mg) with a predicted non-NC stable alloy (Fe-10 at.% Cu) using the same processing and characterization methodologies. Results show improved thermal stability of the Fe-Mg alloy in comparison with the Fe-Cu, and thermally-evolved microstructures that are consistent with those predicted by Monte Carlo simulations.