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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2024
  2. Application of polycrystalline hexagonal close packed (HCP) metals in engineering designs has been constrained by their anisotropic responses due to twinning and limited plasticity. In deformation, twins most often initiate at grain boundaries (GBs), and thicken and propagate across the grain. In this work, the GB twin embryos in Mg and Mg alloys, and the conditions that influence their propagation are investigated. Using a micromechanical crystal plasticity model, the role of embryo shape on the driving forces prevailing at the embryo boundaries that could support its expansion is studied. The modeled embryos are either planar, extending more in the shear direction than normal to the twin plane, or equiaxed. Results show that the thinner the embryo, the greater the driving forces for both thickening and forward propagation. Alloys with low prismatic-to-basal critical resolved shear stress (CRSS) ratios promote embryo thickening and large CRSS values for the slip mode that primarily accommodates the twin shear encourage propagation. The neighboring grains with orientations that enable local accommodation of the embryo twin shear by pyramidal slip promote forward propagation but have little effect on thickening. When two like embryos lie along the same GB, their paired interaction promotes forward propagation but hinders thickening. 
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  5. High-entropy alloys (HEAs) with good ductility and high strength are usually prepared by a combination of forging and heat-treatment processes. In comparison, the as-cast HEAs typically do not reach strengths similar to those of HEAs produced by the forging and heat-treatment processes. Here we report a novel equiatomic-ratio CoCrCuMnNi HEA prepared by vacuum arc melting. We observe that this HEA has excellent mechanical properties, i.e. , a yield strength of 458 MPa, and an ultimate tensile strength of 742 MPa with an elongation of 40%. Many nanometer precipitates (5–50 nm in size) and domains (5–10 nm in size) are found in the inter-dendrite and dendrite zones of the produced HEA, which is the key factor for its excellent mechanical properties. The enthalpy of mixing between Cu and Mn, Cr, Co, or Ni is higher than those of mixing between any two of Cr, Co, Ni and Mn, which leads to the separation of Cu from the CoCrCuMnNi HEA. Furthermore, we reveal the nanoscale-precipitate-phase-forming mechanism in the proposed HEA. 
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