Tensile strain-induced softening of iron at high temperature

Xiaoqing Li, Stephan Schönecker, Eszter Simon, Lars Bergqvist, Hualei Zhang, L. Szunyogh, Jijun Zhao, Börje Johansson, Levente Vitos

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Abstract

In weakly ferromagnetic materials, already small changes in the atomic configuration triggered by temperature or chemistry can alter the magnetic interactions responsible for the non-random atomic-spin orientation. Different magnetic states, in turn, can give rise to substantially different macroscopic properties. A classical example is iron, which exhibits a great variety of properties as one gradually removes the magnetic long-range order by raising the temperature towards its Curie point of= 1043 K. Using first-principles theory, here we demonstrate that uniaxial tensile strain can also destabilise the magnetic order in iron and eventually lead to a ferromagnetic to paramagnetic transition at temperatures far below. In consequence, the intrinsic strength of the ideal single-crystal body-centred cubic iron dramatically weakens above a critical temperature of ∼500 K. The discovered strain-induced magneto-mechanical softening provides a plausible atomic-level mechanism behind the observed drop of the measured strength of Fe whiskers around 300-500 K. Alloying additions which have the capability to partially restore the magnetic order in the strained Fe lattice, push the critical temperature for the strength-softening scenario towards the magnetic transition temperature of the undeformed lattice. This can result in a surprisingly large alloying-driven strengthening effect at high temperature as illustrated here in the case of Fe-Co alloy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16654
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 10 2015

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softening
iron
alloying
critical temperature
ferromagnetic materials
temperature
transition temperature
chemistry
single crystals
configurations
interactions

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Li, X., Schönecker, S., Simon, E., Bergqvist, L., Zhang, H., Szunyogh, L., ... Vitos, L. (2015). Tensile strain-induced softening of iron at high temperature. Scientific Reports, 5, [16654]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep16654

Tensile strain-induced softening of iron at high temperature. / Li, Xiaoqing; Schönecker, Stephan; Simon, Eszter; Bergqvist, Lars; Zhang, Hualei; Szunyogh, L.; Zhao, Jijun; Johansson, Börje; Vitos, Levente.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 5, 16654, 10.11.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Li, X, Schönecker, S, Simon, E, Bergqvist, L, Zhang, H, Szunyogh, L, Zhao, J, Johansson, B & Vitos, L 2015, 'Tensile strain-induced softening of iron at high temperature', Scientific Reports, vol. 5, 16654. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep16654
Li X, Schönecker S, Simon E, Bergqvist L, Zhang H, Szunyogh L et al. Tensile strain-induced softening of iron at high temperature. Scientific Reports. 2015 Nov 10;5. 16654. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep16654
Li, Xiaoqing ; Schönecker, Stephan ; Simon, Eszter ; Bergqvist, Lars ; Zhang, Hualei ; Szunyogh, L. ; Zhao, Jijun ; Johansson, Börje ; Vitos, Levente. / Tensile strain-induced softening of iron at high temperature. In: Scientific Reports. 2015 ; Vol. 5.
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