Design and Development of Light Weight High Entropy Alloys
Abstract: The main aim of this thesis was to design and develop new Aluminium based compositionally complex alloys (CCAs) using the high entropy alloy (HEA) concept, and to understand their evolution of microstructures during casting and also after the secondary process which is heat-treatment, and finally to evaluate their subsequent mechanical properties. Prior to the development of alloys, a computational technique ThermoCalc was used which helped in understanding the phase formation in various results. Use of thermodynamic physical parameters for predicting the stability of single-phase fields was done to assess their validity in predicting the compositional regions of the alloys developed. The first alloy developed is Al73.6Mg18Ni1.5Ti1.9Zr1Zn4 in at% (NiTiZrZn) CCA. The microstructure consists of the FCC as a primary phase with ~49% volume fraction along with β-AlMg and intermetallic (IM) phases including Al3Ni, Al3Ti, and Al3Zr. After casting, the microstructure showed some presence of eutectic structures. The Al3Ti, and Al3Zr IM phases seemed to precipitate early which led to less homogenization of Ti and Zr, causing deviation in the amount of these elements in the matrix. Further, the CCA was heat-treated at 375 oC for 24hrs and 48hrs and the evolution of microstructure along with its hardness and phase transformation characterisation was investigated. The second developed alloy was quaternary Al65.65Mg21.39Ag10.02Ni2.94 in at% (AgNi) CCA. In the as-cast state, the main phase (matrix) was FCC with ~64 % volume fraction along with BCC, β-AlMg and Al3Ni IM phases. There was a good level homogenization of all elements in the alloy. They were further heat- treated at 400 oC for 24 hrs and 48 hrs and were studied for any change in microstructure along with its hardness and thermal stability. This CCA had the highest hardness value from all developed CCAs. Lastly, in order to check how Ni affects the microstructure and properties of (AgNi) CCA, a ternary Al67.2Mg22.09Ag10.7 in at% (Ag) CCA was developed. The composition was kept such that it is exactly 97% by excluding the Ni. During the development of this alloy, the cast was cooled in two ways first being the normal cooled just like other CCAs and second being a fast cooling method. Both of these alloys consists of the FCC phase as a primary phase with 72% volume fraction along with BCC and β-AlMg. Both of them were also heat treated at 400 oC for 24 hrs and 48 hrs to evaluate any changes in microstructure and also to assess its hardness and thermal stability.
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