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Accurate electronic free energies of the 3d, 4d, and 5d transition metals at high temperatures
We introduce a new class of high-entropy alloys (HEAs), i.e., quinary (five-component) dual-phase (DP) HEAs revealing transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP), designed by using a quantum mechanically based and experimentally validated approach. Ab initio simulations of thermodynamic phase stabilities of Co20Cr20Fe40-xMn20Nix (x = 0–20 at. %) HEAs were performed to screen for promising compositions showing the TRIP-DP effect. The theoretical predictions reveal several promising alloys, which have been cast and systematically characterized with respect to their room temperature phase constituents, microstructures, element distributions and compositional homogeneity, tensile properties and deformation mechanisms. The study demonstrates the strength of ab initio calculations to predict the behavior of multi-component HEAs on the macroscopic scale from the atomistic level. As a prototype example a non-equiatomic Co20Cr20Fe34Mn20Ni6 HEA, selected based on our ab initio simulations, reveals the TRIP-DP effect and hence exhibits higher tensile strength and strain-hardening ability compared to the corresponding equiatomic CoCrFeMnNi alloy.