The temporal evolution of the decomposition of a concentrated multicomponent Fe-Cu-based steel

R. Prakash Kolli*, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


The nucleation (to a limited extent), growth and coarsening behavior of Cu-rich precipitates in a concentrated multicomponent Fe-Cu-based steel aged at 500 °C from 0.25 to 1024 h is investigated. The temporal evolution of the precipitates, heterophase interfaces, matrix compositions and precipitate morphologies are presented. With increasing time, Cu partitions to the precipitates, Ni, Al and Mn partition to the interfacial region, whereas Fe and Si partition to the matrix. Coarsening time exponents are determined for the mean radius, 〈R(t)〉, number density, NV(t), and supersaturations, which are compared to the Lifshitz-Slyzov-Wagner (LSW) model for coarsening, modified for concentrated multicomponent alloys by Umantsev and Olson (UO). The experimental results indicate that the alloy does not strictly follow UO model behavior. Additionally, we delineate the formation of a Ni-Al-Mn shell with a stoichiometric ratio of 0.51:0.41:0.08 at 1024 h, which reduces the interfacial free energy between the precipitates and the matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2073-2088
Number of pages16
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Atom-probe tomography
  • Coarsening
  • Fe-Cu alloy
  • Interfacial segregation
  • Phase separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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