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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Nb on the Microstructure and Fracture Toughness of (Zr0.76Fe0.24)100−xNbx Nano-Eutectic Composites

1
Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur 721302, India
2
Department of Materials Physics, Montanuniversitat Leoben, Jahnstrasse 12, 8700 Leoben, Austria
3
Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Teknologivegen 22, 2815 Gjøvik, Norway
4
Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Jahnstraße 12, A-8700 Leoben, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11010113
Received: 24 December 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
The present study demonstrates the evolution of eutectic microstructure in arc-melted (Zr0.76Fe0.24)100−xNbx (0 ≤ x ≤ 10 atom %) composites containing α-Zr//FeZr2 nano-lamellae phases along with pro-eutectic Zr-rich intermetallic phase. The effects of Nb addition on the microstructural evolution and mechanical properties under compression, bulk hardness, elastic modulus, and indentation fracture toughness (IFT) were investigated. The Zr–Fe–(Nb) eutectic composites (ECs) exhibited excellent fracture strength up to ~1800 MPa. Microstructural characterization revealed that the addition of Nb promotes the formation of intermetallic Zr54Fe37Nb9. The IFT (KIC) increases from 3.0 ± 0.5 MPa√m (x = 0) to 4.7 ± 1.0 MPa√m (x = 2) at 49 N, which even further increases from 5.1 ± 0.5 MPa√m (x = 0) and up to 5.9 ± 1.0 MPa√m (x = 2) at higher loads. The results suggest that mutual interaction between nano-lamellar α-Zr//FeZr2 phases is responsible for enhanced fracture resistance and high fracture strength. View Full-Text
Keywords: eutectic alloys; microstructure; mechanical properties; indentation fracture toughness; electron microscopy eutectic alloys; microstructure; mechanical properties; indentation fracture toughness; electron microscopy
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Maity, T.; Dutta, A.; Jana, P.P.; Prashanth, K.G.; Eckert, J.; Das, J. Influence of Nb on the Microstructure and Fracture Toughness of (Zr0.76Fe0.24)100−xNbx Nano-Eutectic Composites. Materials 2018, 11, 113.

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