Microstructural changes in Fe73.5−xCrxCu1Nb3Si13.5B9 (0⩽x⩽5) alloys with thermal treatment were studied by electron microscopy. In a first stage, around 800 K, an Fe(Si) nanocrystalline phase is formed in the amorphous residual matrix. Crystallization onset is enhanced with the Cr content of the alloy. In a second stage, around 950 K, full crystallization of the samples leads to the formation of a body centred cubic (b.c.c.) boride-type unknown crystal phase with a lattice parameter of a=1.52 nm, and recrystallization of the previous Fe(Si) nanophase also occurs. No qualitative differences were found between dynamic and isothermal crystallization. The size effect for thin samples is limited to a lowering of crystallization temperatures. For isothermal nanocrystallization in the temperature range 775–900 K, the mean grain size of the nanocrystals increases for short annealing times to stabilize at a constant value of about 10–15 nm for long annealing times. The stabilized grain size increases with increasing annealing temperature and slightly decreases with the Cr content of the alloy.
Crystallization Recrystallization Annealing Time Microstructural Evolution Crystallization Temperature
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