Bulk and Defect Properties of Ordered Intermetallics: A First-Principles Total-Energy Investigation


First-principles quantum mechanical calculations based on local-density-functional theory have been used to investigate the fundamental factors that govern the deformation and fracture behavior of ordered intermetallic alloys. Unlike in Ni3Al, the calculated elastic constants and shear fault energies indicate that anomalous yield strength behavior is not likely to occur in Ni3Si. From the calculated Griffith strength and a phenomenological theory relating fracture toughness to ideal cleavage strength, Ni3Si is predicted to be ductile with respect to cleavage fracture. For TiAl, we find the absence of structural vacancies due to the strong Ti-Al bonding and similar atomic radii for Ti and Al. For NiAl, the defect structure is found to be dominated by two types of defects - monovacancies on the Ni sites and substitutional antisite defects on the Al sites. For FeAl, on the other hand, we find a more complex defect structure, which is closely related to the importance of electronic structure effect in FeAl. More importantly, we predict the strong tendency for vacancy clustering in FeAl due to the large binding energy found for divacancies. Effects of thermomechanical history on microhardness are discussed in terms of the calculated results.

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Research sponsored by the Division of Materials Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC05-84OR21400 with Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc.

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Fu, C.L., Ye, YY. & Yoo, M.H. Bulk and Defect Properties of Ordered Intermetallics: A First-Principles Total-Energy Investigation. MRS Online Proceedings Library 288, 21–32 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-288-21

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