Chemical short-range order in derivative Cr–Ta–Ti–V–W high entropy alloys from the first-principles thermodynamic study†
The development of high-entropy alloys (HEAs) focuses on exploring compositional regions in multi-component systems with all alloy elements in equal or near-equal atomic concentrations. Initially it was based on the main idea that high mixing configurational entropy contributions to the alloy free energy could promote the formation of a single solid solution phase. By using the ab-initio based Cluster Expansion (CE) Hamiltonian model constructed for the quinary bcc Cr–Ta–Ti–V–W system in combination with Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, we show that the phase stability and chemical short-range order (SRO) of the equiatomic quinary and five sub-quaternary systems, as well as their derivative alloys, can dramatically change the order–disorder transition temperatures (ODTT) as a function of alloy compositions. In particular, it has been found, that the equiatomic quaternary Ta–Ti–V–W and Cr–Ta–Ti–W alloys had the lowest order–disorder transition temperature (500 K) among all the analysed equiatomic compositions. In all investigated alloy systems, the strongest chemical ordering has been observed between Cr and V, which led to the conclusion that decreasing the concentration of either Cr or V might be beneficial in terms of decreasing the ODTT. It also predicts that increasing concentration of Ti significantly decreases the ODTT. Our analysis of chemical SRO as a function of alloy composition allows to understand the microstructure evolution of HEAs as a function of temperature in excellent agreement with available experimental observations. Importantly, our free energy of mixing and SRO calculations predict that the origin of precipitates formed by Cr- and V-rich in the sub-quaternary Cr–Ta–V–W system is driven by the thermodynamics. The modelling results are in an excellent agreement with experimental observation of Cr and V segregation in the W0.38Ta0.36Cr0.15V0.11 alloy which in turns shows an exceptional radiation resistance.