Simulation of early-stage clustering in ternary metal alloys using the phase-field crystal method Academic Article uri icon

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  • Phase field crystal methodology is applied, for the first time, to study the effect of alloy composition on the clustering behavior of a quenched/aged supersaturated ternary Al alloy system. An analysis of the work of formation is built upon the methodology developed in Fallah {\it et al.} to describe the dislocation-mediated formation mechanisms of early clusters in binary alloys [Phys. Rev. B., DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.00.004100]. Consistent with the experiments, we demonstrate that the addition of Mg to an Al-1.1Cu alloy increases the nucleation rate of clusters in the quenched/aged state by increasing the effective driving force for nucleation, enhancing the dislocation stress relaxation and decreasing the surface energy associated with the Cu-rich Cu-Mg co-clusters. Furthermore, we show that it is thermodynamically favourable for small sub-critical clusters to have higher affinity for Mg than larger overcritical Cu-rich clusters, particularly depicting a two-stage clustering phenomenon.


  • Fallah, Vahid
  • Ofori-Opoku, Nana
  • Stolle, Jonathan
  • Provatas, Nikolas
  • Esmaeili, Shahrzad

publication date

  • June 2013