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Exploring the phase space of multi-principal-element alloys and predicting the formation of bulk metallic glasses
Multi-principal-element alloys share a set of thermodynamic and structural parameters that, in their range of adopted values, correlate to the tendency of the alloys to assume a solid solution, whether as a crystalline or an amorphous phase. Based on empirical correlations, this work presents a computational method for the prediction of possible glass-forming compositions for a chosen alloys system as well as the calculation of their critical cooling rates. The obtained results compare well to experimental data for Pd-Ni-P, micro-alloyed Pd-Ni-P, Cu-Mg-Ca, and Cu-Zr-Ti. Furthermore, a random-number-generator-based algorithm is employed to explore glass-forming candidate alloys with a minimum critical cooling rate, reducing the number of datapoints necessary to find suitable glass-forming compositions. A comparison with experimental results for the quaternary Ti-Zr-Cu-Ni system shows a promising overlap of calculation and experiment, implying that it is a reasonable method to find candidates for glass-forming alloys with a sufficiently low critical cooling rate to allow the formation of bulk metallic glasses.