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  1. This paper describes the main findings from an experimental investigation into local and overall strength and fracture behavior of a microstructurally flexible, quadruplex, high entropy alloy (HEA), Fe42Mn28Co10Cr15Si5 (in at%). The alloy consists of metastable face-centered cubic austenite (g), stable hexagonal epsilon martensite (ε), stable body-centered cubic ferrite (a), and stable tetragonal sigma (σ) phases. The overall behavior of the alloy in compression features a great deal of plasticity and strain hardening before fracture. While the contents of diffusion created a and σ phases remain constant during deformation, the fraction of ε increases at the expanse of g due to the diffusionless strain induced γ→ε phase transformation. High-throughput nanoindentation mapping is used to assess the mechanical hardness of individual phases contributing to the plasticity and hardening of the alloy. Increasing the fraction of the dislocated ε phase during deformation due to the transformation is found to act as a secondary source of hardening because g and ε exhibit similar hardness at a given strain level. While these two phases exhibit moderate hardening during plasticity, significant softening is observed in σ owing to the phase fragmentation. While the phase transformation mechanism facilitates accommodation of the plasticity, the primary source of strain hardening in the alloy is the refinement of the structure during the transformation inducing a dynamic Hall-Petch-type barrier effect. Results pertaining to the evolution of microstructure and local behavior of the alloy under compression are presented and discussed clarifying the origins of strain hardening. While good under compression, the alloy poorly behaves under tension. Fracture surfaces after tension feature brittle micromechanisms of fracture. Such behavior is attributed to the presence of the brittle σ phase. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  2. Recent advances pertaining to modeling of grain fragmentation during deformation and recrystallization of polycrystalline metals using viscoplastic self-consistent (VPSC) polycrystal plasticity are combined into a field fluctuations VPSC (FF-VPSC) model. The FF-VPSC model is a higher-order formulation calculating the second moments of lattice rotation rates based on the second moments of stress fields inside grains and resulting intragranular misorientation distributions. The misorientation distributions are used to define a grain fragmentation sub-model for improving predictions of deformation texture evolution and to formulate kinetics sub-models for nucleation as well as to influence the stored energy governing grain growth for the predictions of recrystallization texture evolution. Formation of a copper-like texture in moderately high stacking fault energy (SFE) Cu and a brass-like texture in low SFE brass during rolling to very large strains are successfully predicted using the model. Remarkably, the model also predicts recrystallization textures from the deformation textures of the two metals after adjusting tradeoffs between transition-bands and grain boundary nucleation mechanisms. Additionally, rolling and recrystallization of an interstitial-free steel, tension and recrystallization of AA5182-O, and recrystallization of an additively manufacturing cobalt-based alloy MarM-509 are simulated to predict texture evolution. Through these case studies involving multiple alloys and thermo-mechanical processes we show that, in addition to being predictive with good accuracy, the key advantage of the model lies in its versatility. The FF-VPSC model, simulation results, and insights from the results are presented and discussed in this paper. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Modeling springback in sheet materials is challenging in aluminum alloys, especially when a complex strain path is applied. This paper presents results from pure bending experiments on AA 6016-T4 sheet material, where various plastic pre-strains were first applied prior to bending. A crystal plasticity based elasto-plastic selfconsistent (EPSC) model that includes the effect of backstress in the hardening law was used to predict final part shape after unloading. The backstress term in the model was calibrated using geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) content, measured experimentally by high resolution electron backscattered diffraction (HREBSD). The EPSC model predicted springforward angles for unstrained 1 mm AA 6016-T4 sheet with an error of 0.4% (0.3◦) in the worst case, while the J2 plasticity isotropic model overpredicted springforward angles by as much as 2.4% (2◦). For cases where uniaxial, plane-strain, and biaxial pre-strains were first imparted to the sheets before bending, the EPSC model with backstress accurately predicted the transition from springforward to springback, while the EPSC model without backstress did not. Backstress influence on model accuracy, which increased with greater pre-strain levels, appears to be correlated to the statistically stored dislocation (SSD) density computed by the model at the end of each pre-strain step. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  4. In a recent work, we have reported outstanding strength and work hardening exhibited by a metastable high entropy alloy (HEA), Fe42Mn28Co10Cr15Si5 (in at. %), undergoing the strain-induced martensitic transformation from metastable gamma austenite (γ) to stable epsilon martensite (ε). However, the alloy exhibited poor ductility, which was attributed to the presence of the brittle sigma (σ) phase in its microstructure. The present work reports the evolution of microstructure, strength, and ductility of a similar HEA, Fe38.5Mn20Co20Cr15Si5Cu1.5 (in at. %), designed to suppress the formation of σ phase. A cast and then rolled plate of the alloy was processed into four conditions by annealing for 10 and 30 min at 1100 °C and by friction stir processing (FSP) at tool rotation rates of 150 and 400 revolutions per minute (RPM) to facilitate detailed examinations of variable initial grain structures. Neutron diffraction and electron microscopy were employed to characterize the microstructure and texture evolution. The initial materials had variable grain size but nearly 100% γ structure. Diffusionless strain induced γ→ε phase transformation took place under compression with higher rate initially and slower rate at the later stages of deformation, independent on the initial grain size. The transformation facilitated part of plastic strain accommodation and rapid strain hardening owing to a transformation-induced dynamic Hall-Petch-type barrier effect, increase in dislocation density, and texture. The peak strength of nearly 2 GPa was achieved under compression using the structure created by double pass FSP (150 RPM followed by 150 RPM). Remarkably, the tensile elongation exhibited by the alloy was nearly 20% with fracture surfaces featuring a combination of ductile dimples and cleavage. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
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  8. Abstract

    Propagating deformation bands are observed to accommodate the initial plasticity in an as-extruded Mg–1.5Nd alloy under tension using digital-image-correlation. The propagating bands cause an uncommon plateau in the stress–strain response of the alloy prior to restoring a common decreasing work hardening with further straining. Effects of the deformation banding and underlying plateau in the flow stress on small scale yielding are investigated during low cycle fatigue (LCF) and tension of notched specimens. Alternating formation/disappearance of deformation bands in the gauge section of as-extruded LCF specimens during testing is observed to reduce life compared to annealed specimens exhibiting no instabilities. In contrast, the bands deflect the plastic zone ahead of the notch from the principal plane orthogonal to the applied loading inducing positive effect on toughness of the alloy.

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  9. Abstract

    Mechanisms of hexagonal close-packed (HCP) to body-centered cubic (BCC) phase transformation in Mg single crystals are observed using a combination of polychromatic beam Laue diffraction and monochromatic beam powder diffraction techniques under quasi-hydrostatic pressures of up to 58 ± 2 GPa at ambient temperature. Although experiments were performed with both He and Ne pressure media, crystals inevitably undergo plastic deformation upon loading to 40–44 GPa. The plasticity is accommodated by dislocation glide causing local misorientations of up to 1°–2°. The selected crystals are tracked by mapping Laue diffraction spots up to the onset of the HCP to BCC transformation, which is determined to be at a pressure of 56.6 ± 2 GPa. Intensity of the Laue reflections from HCP crystals rapidly decrease but no reflections from crystalline BCC phase are observed with a further increase of pressure. Nevertheless, the powder diffraction shows the formation of 110 BCC peak at 56.6 GPa. The peak intensity increases at 59.7 GPa. Upon the full transformation, a powder-like BCC aggregate is formed revealing the destructive nature of the HCP to BCC transformation in single crystals of Mg.

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