Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 2151–2160 | Cite as

The Role of Carbon in Grain Refinement of Cast CrFeCoNi High-Entropy Alloys

  • X. W. Liu
  • L. Liu
  • G. Liu
  • X. X. Wu
  • D. H. Lu
  • J. Q. Yao
  • W. M. Jiang
  • Z. T. FanEmail author
  • W. B. ZhangEmail author


As a promising engineering material, high-entropy alloys (HEAs) CrFeCoNi system has attracted extensive attention worldwide. Their cast alloys are of great importance because of their great formability of complex components, which can be further improved through the transition of the columnar to equiaxed grains and grain refinement. In the current work, the influence of C contents on the grain structures and mechanical properties of the as-cast high-entropy alloy CrFeCoNi was chosen as the target and systematically studied via a hybrid approach of the experiments and thermodynamic calculations. The alloys with various C additions were prepared by arc melting and drop cast. The as-cast macrostructure and microstructure were characterized using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The cast HEAs transform from coarse columnar grains into equiaxed grains with the C level increased to ≥ 2 at. pct and the size of equiaxed grains is further decreased with the increasing C addition. It is revealed that the interdendritic segregation of Cr and C results in grain boundary precipitation of M23C6 carbides. The grain refinement is attributed to the additional constitutional supercoiling from the C addition. The yield stress and tensile strength at room temperature are improved due to the transition of columnar to equiaxed grains and grain refinement.



The authors would like to thank the support of the National Nature Science Foundation of China (51775204, 51301123, 51604222 and 51204073), the opening fund (SKLSP201711) of State Key Laboratory of Solidification Processing in NWPU, and the Analytical and Testing Center, HUST.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. W. Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Liu
    • 3
  • X. X. Wu
    • 4
  • D. H. Lu
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Q. Yao
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. M. Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Z. T. Fan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • W. B. Zhang
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Die & Mould TechnologyHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Solidification ProcessingNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.School of Material Science and EngineeringXi’an University of TechnologyXi’anChina
  4. 4.Institute for MaterialsRuhr University BochumBochumGermany
  5. 5.Institute for Applied Materials—Applied Materials PhysicsKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyEggenstein-LeopoldshafenGermany

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