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Phase stability and elastic properties of Cr–V alloys

MC Gao, Y Suzuki, Hannes Schweiger, ÖN Doğan, J Hawk, M Widom
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 25(7), 075402 (2013)

V is the only element in the periodic table that forms a complete solid solution with Cr and thus is particularly important in alloying strategy to ductilize Cr. This study combines first-principles density functional theory calculations and experiments to investigate the phase stability and elastic properties of Cr–V binary alloys. The cluster expansion study reveals the formation of various ordered compounds at low temperatures that were not previously known. These compounds become unstable due to the configurational entropy of bcc solid solution as the temperature is increased. The elastic constants of ordered and disordered compounds are calculated at both T = 0 K and finite temperatures. The overall trends in elastic properties are in agreement with measurements using the resonant ultrasound spectroscopy method.

The calculations predict that addition of V to Cr decreases both the bulk modulus and the shear modulus, and enhances the Poisson’s ratio, in agreement with experiments. Decrease in the bulk modulus is correlated to decrease in the valence electron density and increase in the lattice constant. An enhanced Poisson’s ratio for bcc Cr–V alloys (compared to pure Cr) is associated with an increased density of states at the Fermi level. Furthermore, the difference charge density in the bonding region in the (110) slip plane is highest for pure Cr and decreases gradually as V is added. The present calculation also predicts a negative Cauchy pressure for pure Cr, and it becomes positive upon alloying with V. The intrinsic ductilizing effect from V may contribute, at least partially, to the experimentally observed ductilizing phenomenon in the literature.