Most high entropy alloys (HEAs) are cast to form single phase solid solution. Their hardness and strength at room temperature under the as-cast condition are typically lower than expectation. In the research, the ultrasonic surface mechanical attrition treatment (SMAT) is conducted on the surface of two HEAs, FeCoNiCrMn and FeCoNiCrMn-Al, to upgrade their room temperature surface characteristics. By proper SMAT multiple paths, the grain size can be reduced from ∼50 μm down to ∼0.1–1 μm, the hardness increased from ∼2.5–5.0 GPa up to ∼5.0–8.5 GPa, and the tensile strength and elongation can be nearly doubled. The gradient refined and strengthened surface layers are demonstrated to appreciably upgrade the HEA performance. The strengthening mechanisms and superposition rules are established and are compared well with the experimental measurements.
- High entropy alloy
- Strengthening mechanism
- Surface mechanical attrition treatment