4.8 Article

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


Volume 373, Issue 6557, Pages 912-+


DOI: 10.1126/science.abf6986




  1. National Key Research and Development Program of China [2018YFF0109404, 2016YFB0300401, 2016YFB0301401]
  2. National Natural Science Foundation of China [U1732276, U1860202, 51704193, 51904184]
  3. National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) [51831003]
  4. Funds for Creative Research Groups of China [51921001]
  5. US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences [DE-AC02-06CH11357]

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The study demonstrates a directionally solidified eutectic high-entropy alloy with a hierarchically organized herringbone structure that reconciles crack tolerance and high elongation. The self-buffering herringbone material achieves an ultrahigh uniform tensile elongation while maintaining strength.
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 strainhardened features helps the cracks to avoid catastrophic growth and percolation. Our self-buffering herringbone material yields an ultrahigh uniform tensile elongation (similar to 50%), three times that of conventional nonbuffering EHEAs, without sacrificing strength.


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