Effect of cooling rate upon the microstructure and mechanical properties of in-situ TiC reinforced high entropy alloy CoCrFeNi
Journal of Materials Science and Technology
School of Engineering
Three types of in-situ TiC (5 vol%, 10 vol% and 15 vol%) reinforced high entropy alloy CoCrFeNi matrix composites were produced by vacuum induction smelting. The effect of two extreme cooling conditions (i.e., slow cooling in furnace and rapid cooling in copper crucible) upon the microstructure and mechanical properties was examined. In the case of slow cooling in the furnace, TiC was found to form mostly along the grain boundaries for the 5 vol% samples. With the increase of TiC reinforcements, fibrous TiC appeared and extended into the matrix, leading to an increase in hardness. The ultimate tensile strength of the composites shows a marked variation with increasing TiC content; that is, 425.6 MPa (matrix), 372.8 MPa (5 vol%), 550.4 MPa (10 vol%) and 334.3 MPa (15 vol%), while the elongation-to-failure (i.e., ductility) decreases. The fracture pattern was found to transit from the ductile to cleavage fracture, as the TiC content increased. When the samples cooled rapidly in copper crucible, the TiC particles formed both along the grain boundaries and within the grains. With the increase of TiC volume fraction, both the hardness and ultimate tensile strength of the resulting composites improved steadily while the elongation-to-failure declined. Therefore, the fast cooling can be used to drastically improve the strength of in-situ TiC reinforced CoCrFeNi. For example, for the 15 vol% TiC/CoCrFeNi composite cooled in the copper crucible, the hardness and ultimate tensile strength can reach as high as 595 HV and 941.7 MPa, respectively.