Stability of the B2 CuZr phase in Cu-Zr-Al-Sc bulk metallic glass matrix composites

Benjamin Escher, Ivan Kaban, Uta Kühn, Jürgen Eckert, Simon Pauly

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the effect, that replacing Zr in a glass-forming Cu 47.5 Zr 47.5 Al 5 alloy by Sc (0–2 at.%) has on the phase formation as well as on the thermal and mechanical properties. Even though it is not reflected in the thermal data, the glass-forming ability (GFA) is significantly reduced. This originates from the increased tendency to precipitate the shape-memory phase B2 CuZr(Sc), which, in turn, promotes the formation of bulk metallic glass (BMG) matrix composites. Sc appears to be very effective in stabilizing the B2 crystals because it forms the stable B2 CuSc phase with a similar lattice constant like B2 CuZr. By adjusting the casting parameters, the composite microstructure of Cu 47.5 Zr 46.5 Al 5 Sc 1 can be controlled to a certain extent. The yield strength and the plasticity of the present composites depend on the crystalline volume fraction. In-situ high-energy X-ray diffraction reveals that deformation proceeds in three stages: (i) martensitic transformation of the B2 phase, (ii) yielding of the amorphous phase and continuing martensitic transformation, (iii) completion of the phase transformation and plastic deformation of all phases. Our work suggests that Sc is a promising candidate to adjust the microstructure and, thus, the mechanical properties of CuZr-based composites consisting of a glassy matrix and shape-memory crystals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-665
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of alloys and compounds
Issue number25 June
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019

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