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Title: Crystallization Mechanism in Spark Plasma Sintered Bulk Metallic Glass Analyzed using Small Angle Neutron Scattering

Understanding the thermal stability of metallic glasses is critical to determining their safe temperatures of service. In this paper, the crystallization mechanism in spark plasma sintered Fe48Cr15Mo14Y2C15B6metallic glass is established by analyzing the crystal size distribution using x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy andin-situsmall angle neutron scattering. Isothermal annealing at 700 °C and 725 °C for 100 min resulted in the formation of (Fe,Cr)23C6crystals, measured from transmission electron micrographs, to be from 10 to 30 nm. The small angle neutron scattering intensity measuredin-situ, over a Q-range of 0.02 to 0.3 Å−1, during isothermal annealing of the sintered samples, confirmed the presence of (Fe,Cr)23C6crystals. The measured scattering intensity, fitted by the maximum entropy model, over the Q-range of 0.02 to 0.06 Å−1, revealed that the crystals had radii ranging from 3 to 18 nm. The total volume fraction of crystals were estimated to be 0.13 and 0.22 upon isothermal annealing at 700 °C and 725 °C for 100 min respectively. The mechanism of crystallization in this spark plasma sintered iron based metallic glass was established to be from pre-existing nuclei as confirmed by Avrami exponents of 0.25 ± 0.01 and 0.39 ± 0.01 at the aforesaid temperatures.

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Scientific Reports
Nature Publishing Group
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National Science Foundation
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