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High strength and plasticity in Cr-Al-C composite
Materials Science and Engineering: A  (IF5.234),  Pub Date : 2022-01-19, DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2022.142684
Xinshu Zou, Zhifu Zhang, Shuangxi Song, Xiaodong Wang, Joydip Joardar, Kolan Madhav Reddy

The microstructure and mechanical behavior of a Cr-Al-C composite rapidly consolidated by spark plasma sintering at a relatively low temperature of 900 °C were investigated. The sintered composite showed a multi-phase microstructure consisting of Cr2AlC and Al4C3 in Cr5Al8 matrix, as confirmed by high intensity X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The multi-phase composite showed high hardness of about 11 GPa, high compressive strength of up to 5.81 GPa and strain-to-failure of 1.76%–10.82% at room temperature. High resolution TEM revealed that the dislocation slip and kink bands within the Cr2AlC MAX phase grains contribute significantly to the plasticity, whereas, the Cr5Al8 and Al4C3 improves the strength and hardness of the overall composite. These results highlight the importance of combining ceramic phases with intermetallic matrix for designing high-performance engineering materials.