# Simulation, Structural, Thermal and Mechanical Properties of the FeTiTaVW High Entropy Alloy

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^{2}TN, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Campus Tecnológico e Nuclear, Estrada Nacional 10, 2695-066 Bobadela LRS, Portugal

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## Abstract

**:**

_{2}. In addition, the microstructure of the consolidated material evidenced three phases: W-rich, Ti-rich, and a phase with all the elements. This phase separation observed in the microstructure agrees with the Hybrid Molecular Dynamic Monte Carlo simulation. Moreover, the consolidated material’s thermal conductivity and specific heat are almost constant from 25 °C to 1000 °C, and linear expansion increases with increasing temperature. On the other hand, specific heat and thermal expansion values are in between CuCrZr and W values (materials chosen for the reactor walls). The FeTaTiVW high entropy alloy evidences a ductile behaviour at 1000 °C. Therefore, the promising thermal properties of this system can be attributed to the multiple phases and systems with different compositions of the same elements, which is exciting for future developments.

## 1. Introduction

_{80}Mo

_{6.6}Ti

_{6}Nb

_{6}Ta

_{1.4}), (Ni

_{29}Fe

_{23}Co

_{23}Cr

_{23}Zr

_{2}and Ni

_{25}Fe

_{23}Co

_{23}Cr

_{23}Mo

_{2}Nb

_{2}Zr

_{2}) [12]. Moreover, owing to their impressive blend of mechanical properties, HEAs are considered promising candidates for a wide range of advanced engineering applications, including nuclear reactors, as is the case of (TaTiVZr)X (X = Hf or W) [13] and Ti

_{2}ZrHfV

_{0.5}Mo

_{0.2}[14].

## 2. Experimental Details

^{3}cells), and the number of atoms was 4394. The typical simulation sequence involved several steps of energy minimization of the initial configuration, heating to the simulation temperature, and energy minimization for 6 × 10

^{6}time steps. The Hybrid Molecular Dynamic/Monte Carlo simulation, hereafter referred to as MC, consisted of the introduction of a Monte Carlo swap attempt every 10 Molecular Dynamic simulation steps (MC 10:1). The temperature used in the Metropolis criterion dictating swap probabilities was the same as that used in the MD simulation. The pressure was maintained at 1 atmosphere. The EAM potential for Fe-Ta-Ti-W was retrieved from NIST [21], referring to the original work of Zhou et al. [22]. The same procedure, using the same date set for the simulation of multicomponent alloys, has already been reported in the literature [21]. As the EAM set potential used [22] does not include vanadium, a hybrid potential (force field) was developed [23] in which the interactions involving vanadium were described by the Mie potential (a central potential related to the Lennard–Jones potential) with the parameters published in [23].

^{3}.

_{a}radiation over a 2θ range from 10° to 100° with a 2q step size of 0.03°.

^{2}section cut by electro-discharge machining. A loading span of 10 mm and a constant cross-head travel speed of 100 µm/min were selected for quasistatic testing. To characterise the mechanical behaviour of these novel materials in their expected operating temperature range, TPB tests were performed at 25 °C, 600 °C and 1000 °C under a high vacuum atmosphere (10

^{−6}mbar). The flexural strength was later computed using Euler-Bernoulli equations for slender beams up to failure, and their fracture surfaces were evaluated.

_{r}) (calculated from the unloading contact stiffness), the young modulus of the diamond indenter (E

_{i}), and the poison ratio of both samples (ν

_{s}), and indenter (ν

_{i}), as in [27] using the following expression:

_{mix}and ΔS

_{mix}, the fractional atomic size differences δ and the valence electron concentrations, VEC, it is possible to predict the formation of solid solutions in the ranges −15 kJ/mol ≤ ΔH

_{mi}

_{x}≤ 5 kJ/mol, 11 J/(K·mol) ≤ ΔS

_{mix}≤ 19.5 J/(K·mol), and 1 ≤ δ ≤ 6: the stable most phases are predicted to be fcc at VEC ≥ 8 and bcc at VEC < 6.87. Between these values, mixed fcc and bcc type-structures are expected to coexist. In this context, the calculations of the relevant properties of Fe-Ta-Ti-V-W multicomponent alloy are presented in Table 3. Based on the calculated values, the existence of a bcc solid solution is expected for the FeTaTiVW and compositions.

## 3. Results and Discussion

#### 3.1. Simulation

^{3}and 11.98 g/cm

^{3}for MC and MD at 25 °C.

#### 3.2. Powder Analysis of FeTaTiVW

_{2}was also observed. SEM observations were carried out to confirm the presence of pure W not mixed, as shown in Figure 4c,d. The images revealed that FeTaTiVW milled powder comprised small, agglomerated particles, and no W particles were observed. The phase constitution obtained experimentally as-milled, i.e., a single bcc phase with Ti segregated, albeit in the form of oxide, as seen in XRD, agrees with that predicted by the MC simulation. In addition, the loss of titanium towards oxides observed in XRD may explain the slight deviation of the lattice parameter of the MC simulation, 0.3091 nm, from that obtained experimentally, 0.316 nm.

#### 3.3. Consolidated and Annealed FeTaTiVW Material

_{mix}AB plays a vital role in phase formation: the more negative ΔH

_{mix}, the more significant driving force for forming intermetallic compounds, while the more positive, the more substantial tendency for elemental separation in the alloy. The values of the mixing enthalpy of the atomic pairs are evidenced in Table 4 [32].

#### 3.4. Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA)

#### 3.5. Thermal Properties

^{2}[3,33]. Figure 7a shows the thermal conductivity of the FeTiTaVW sample together with the pure W, Cu, and CuCrZr. The results reveal that the FeTiTaVW sample exhibits significantly lower thermal conductivity between 25 °C and 1000 °C than W and CuCrZr, with a value between 15 and 31 (W/(m·K)). In fact, this effect arises from notable alterations in the free paths for electron migration in high entropy alloys and the formation of barriers to electron flow at grain boundaries during heat transfer [34]. In the case of pure W [35] and CuCrZr [35], the high levels of purity lead to unobstructed pathways for electron migration, pointing to higher values of thermal conductivity. Moreover, the values found for the FeTiTaVW high entropy alloy are similar to those found for the case of Al

_{x}CoCrFeNi (0 ≤ x ≤ 2) [36]. Taking into account the targeted thermal conductivities for the thermal barriers (15 W/m/K) [3], it can be inferred that the FeTiTaVW high entropy alloy may be suitable for this purpose, although it is at a higher limit. Figure 7b depicts the specific heat of the FeTaTiVW sample alongside CuCrZr [37] and pure W [38]. Based on the results, the specific heat of FeTaTiVW high entropy alloys around 0.3 (J/g/K), falling between those of CuCrZr and tungsten, remaining relatively constant with increasing temperature. The low specific heat exhibited by CuCrZr and (W) implies less energy required for heating or cooling; positioning FeTaTiVW between them will be crucial for its role as a thermal barrier. Furthermore, results on samples with transition and lanthanide elements revealed [39,40] values of specific heat in the same range found for FeTaTiVW. In addition, Figure 7c exhibits the thermal expansion results of FeTaTiVW sample in the range temperature of 0 to 1000 °C. The thermal expansion increases with temperature and can be attributed to unit cell expansion and the distance increase between lattice sites with increasing temperature. Therefore, the lattice vibration is intensified with an increase in temperature, and consequently, the average distance between atoms within the lattice increases, leading to increased coefficients of thermal expansion [41]. However, compared to the values in the same range for W [32] and CuCrZr [41], the values of CuCrZr above 100 °C are higher than those found for FeTaTiVW high entropy alloy.

_{0}× 10

^{−4}. This finding unveils intriguing prospects for the thermal optimisation of FeTaTiVW high entropy alloy through targeted modifications of certain elements or control over elemental concentrations to achieve the desired thermal expansion characteristics.

#### 3.6. Mechanical Properties

## 4. Conclusions

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Data Availability Statement

## Acknowledgments

## Conflicts of Interest

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**Figure 2.**Simulation results at 25 °C (

**a**) MD structure, (

**b**) MC structure, (

**c**,

**e**) MD Pair Distribution Functions, (

**d**,

**f**) MC Pair Distribution Functions.

**Figure 4.**(

**a**,

**b**) X-ray diffraction of FeTaTiVW milled powder and the mixture of pure elements, respectively, and (

**c**,

**d**) SEM images of the FeTaTiVW milled powder of high entropy alloy.

**Figure 5.**SEM images of the (

**a**) consolidated and (

**b**) annealed FeTaTiVW high entropy alloy and the correspondent EDS maps of the image of (

**b**) for (

**c**) Ti, (

**d**) V, (

**e**) Fe, (

**f**) Ta and (

**g**) W. The arrows shown in (

**b**) evidence three phases with different contrasts.

**Figure 7.**(

**a**) Thermal conductivity of FeTiTaVW consolidated sample together with pure W, adapted from [35] and CuCrZr, adapted from [35], (

**b**) specific heat of FeTiTaVW consolidated sample together with W, adapted from [38] and CuCrZr, adapted from [37], (

**c**) thermal expansion of FeTiTaVW consolidated sample together with W, adapted from [33] and CuCrZr, adapted from [42].

**Figure 8.**(

**a**) Stress-strain curves for consolidated FeTiTaVW high entropy at 2 °C, 600 °C and 1000 °C and (

**b**) flexural strength fracture as a function of temperature.

**Figure 9.**Types of fracture and cleavage facets observed throughout the three test temperatures for FeTiTaVW high entropy at different magnifications for (

**a**,

**d**) 25 °C, (

**b**,

**e**) 600 °C and (

**c**,

**f**) 1000 °C.

Designation | Fe (at.%) | Ta (at.%) | Ti (at.%) | V (at.%) | W (at.%) |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

FeTaTiVW | 20 | 20 | 20 | 20 | 20 |

Designation | Temperature (°C) | Force (kN) | Holding Time (min) |
---|---|---|---|

FeTaTiVW | 1100 | 9 | 5 |

Designation | ΔH_{mix} | ΔS_{mix} | δ | VEC |
---|---|---|---|---|

FeTaTiVW | −8.8 kJ/mol | 13.4 J/(K·mol) | 5.8 | 5.6 |

Atomic Pairs | ΔH_{mix}(kJ/mol) |
---|---|

Fe–Ta | −15 |

Fe–Ti | −17 |

Fe–W | 0 |

Ta–Ti | 1 |

Ta–W | −7 |

Ti–W | −6 |

V–Fe | −7 |

V–Ta | −1 |

V–Ti | −2 |

V–W | −1 |

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**MDPI and ACS Style**

Martins, R.; Gonçalves, A.P.; Correia, J.B.; Galatanu, A.; Alves, E.; Tejado, E.; Pastor, J.Y.; Dias, M.
Simulation, Structural, Thermal and Mechanical Properties of the FeTiTaVW High Entropy Alloy. *Metals* **2024**, *14*, 436.
https://doi.org/10.3390/met14040436

**AMA Style**

Martins R, Gonçalves AP, Correia JB, Galatanu A, Alves E, Tejado E, Pastor JY, Dias M.
Simulation, Structural, Thermal and Mechanical Properties of the FeTiTaVW High Entropy Alloy. *Metals*. 2024; 14(4):436.
https://doi.org/10.3390/met14040436

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Martins, Ricardo, António Pereira Gonçalves, José Brito Correia, Andrei Galatanu, Eduardo Alves, Elena Tejado, José Ygnacio Pastor, and Marta Dias.
2024. "Simulation, Structural, Thermal and Mechanical Properties of the FeTiTaVW High Entropy Alloy" *Metals* 14, no. 4: 436.
https://doi.org/10.3390/met14040436