AbstractForced mixing to a single phase or supersaturated solid solution (SSS) and its prerequisite microstructure evolution in immiscible systems has been a focus of research for both fundamental science and a variety of applications. Controlling the formation of SSS by shear deformation assisted processing could enable a material design beyond conventional equilibrium microstructure in immiscible systems. Here, a highly immiscible (mixing enthalpy of ~ 20 kJ·mol-1) Cu-50 at. % Cr binary alloy was employed to investigate the microstructure evolution and localized tendencies of SSS during severe shear deformation. The present results demonstrate distinctive microstructure refinement process in each phase and how they lead to localized SSS as a function of shear strain. Preferential dynamic recrystallization occurs in the softer Cu phase due to strain localization, leading to substantial grain refinement. The refinement of Cr phase in the top-most layer, however, is enabled by the progressive evolution of grain lamination, splitting, and fragmentation as a function of shear strain. The eventual SSS is found to be strongly dependent on the local environments that affect the dislocation activity, including the level of microstructure refinement, the interfacial orientation relationship, hardness difference, and supposed stability of oxidation. Ab initio simulations comfirm that it is more favorable to oxidize Cr than Cu at incoherent Cu/Cr interfaces which then limits the mass transport on an incoherent boundary. Our results shed light on the underpinning mechanism for non-equilibrium mass transport in immiscible systems upon severe deformation that can be applicable to a variety of processing techniques aimed at producing immiscible alloys with superior mechanical properties.
Published: August 17, 2023