Journal of Nuclear Materials ( IF 2.485 ) Pub Date : 2020-01-18 , DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152005 Dhinisa Patel; Mark D. Richardson; Bethany Jim; Shavkat Akhmadaliev; Russell Goodall; Amy S. Gandy
A novel multicomponent alloy, V2.5Cr1.2WMoCo0.04, produced from elements expected to favour a BCC crystal structure, and to be suitable for high temperature environments, was fabricated by arc melting and found to exhibit a multiphase dendritic microstructure with W-rich dendrites and V–Cr segregated to the inter-dendritic cores. The as-cast alloy displayed an apparent single-phase XRD pattern. Following heat treatment at 1187 °C for 500 h the alloy transformed into three different distinct phases - BCC, orthorhombic, and tetragonal in crystal structure. This attests to the BCC crystal structure observed in the as-cast state being metastable. The radiation damage response was investigated through room temperature 5 MeV Au+ ion irradiation studies. Metastable as-cast V2.5Cr1.2WMoCo0.04 shows good resistance to radiation induced damage up to 40 displacements per atom (dpa). 96 wt% of the as-cast single-phase BCC crystal structure remained intact, as exhibited by grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GI-XRD) patterns, whilst the remainder of the alloy transformed into an additional BCC crystal structure with a similar lattice parameter. The exceptional phase stability seen here is attributed to a combination of self-healing processes and the BCC structure, rather than a high configurational entropy, as has been suggested for some of these multicomponent “High Entropy Alloy” types. The importance of the stability of metastable high entropy alloy phases for behaviour under irradiation is for the first time highlighted and the findings thus challenge the current understanding of phase stability after irradiation of systems like the HEAs.