Compositionally complex alloys, or high entropy alloys, are good candidates for applications at higher temperatures in gas turbines. After their introduction, the equiatomic Al17Co17Cr17Cu17Fe17Ni17 (at.%) served as a starting material and a long optimization road finally led to the recently optimized Al10Co25Cr8Fe15Ni36Ti6 (at.%) alloy, which shows promising mechanical properties. Investigations of the as-cast state and after different heat treatments focus on the evolution of the microstructure and provide an overview of some mechanical properties. The dendritic solidification provides two phases in the dendritic cores and two different ones in the interdendritic regions. Three of the four phases remain after heat treatments. Homogenization and subsequent annealing produce a γ-γ' based microstructure, similar to Ni-based superalloys. The γ phase is Co-Cr-Fe rich and the γ' phase is Al-Ni-Ti rich. The understanding of the mechanical behavior of the investigated alloy is supported and enhanced by the study of the different phases and their nanohardness measurements. The observations are compared with mechanical and microstructural data from commercial Ni-based superalloys, Co-based alloys, and Co-Ni-based alloys at the desired application temperature of ~800 °C.
Keywords: compositionally complex alloys; high entropy alloys; microstructure; transmission electron microscopy.