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Journal Article

Hierarchical crack buffering triples ductility in eutectic herringbone high-entropy alloys


Raabe,  Dierk
Microstructure Physics and Alloy Design, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max Planck Society;

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Shi, P., Li, R., Li, Y., Wen, Y., Zhong, Y., Ren, W., et al. (2021). Hierarchical crack buffering triples ductility in eutectic herringbone high-entropy alloys. Science, 373(6557), 912-918. doi:10.1126/science.abf6986.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-4673-7
In human-made malleable materials, microdamage such as cracking usually limits material lifetime. Some biological composites, such as bone, have hierarchical microstructures that tolerate cracks but cannot withstand high elongation. We demonstrate a directionally solidified eutectic high-entropy alloy (EHEA) that successfully reconciles crack tolerance and high elongation. The solidified alloy has a hierarchically organized herringbone structure that enables bionic-inspired hierarchical crack buffering. This effect guides stable, persistent crystallographic nucleation and growth of multiple microcracks in abundant poor-deformability microstructures. Hierarchical buffering by adjacent dynamic strain–hardened features helps the cracks to avoid catastrophic growth and percolation. Our self-buffering herringbone material yields an ultrahigh uniform tensile elongation (~50), three times that of conventional nonbuffering EHEAs, without sacrificing strength. © 2021 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.