High entropy alloy FeMnNiCoCr coatings: Enhanced hardness and damage-tolerance through a dual-phase structure and nanotwins
Surface and Coatings Technology
School of Engineering
Three FeMnNiCoCr high entropy alloy (HEA) coatings were deposited onto M2 steel substrates using a direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering system under a range of substrate bias voltages (−20 V, −60 V and −120 V). The microstructure transformed from a fine elongated structure to coarse V-shaped columnar grains with increasing substrate bias voltage. A high density of nanotwins, together with the presence of a partial fcc-to-hcp transformation, was observed in the coating deposited at −120 V. This was attributed to the introduction of stacking faults whose presence was promoted by preferential re-sputtering effects during the deposition process. A high hardness value of ~9.1 GPa, accompanied by exceptional damage-tolerance, was achieved in the coating deposited at −120 V. Here, the formation of nanotwins and the dual-phase structure was found to contribute to this remarkable combination of hardness and resistance to plastic deformation.