It is a long-sought goal to achieve desired mechanical properties through tailoring phase formation in alloys, especially for complicated multi-phase alloys. In fact, unveiling nucleation of competitive crystalline phases during solidification hinges on the nature of liquid. Here we employ ab initio molecular dynamics simulations (AIMD) to reveal liquid configuration of the Mg-Al-Ca alloys and explore its effect on the transformation of Ca-containing Laves phase from Al2Ca to Mg2Ca with increasing Ca/Al ratio (rCa/Al). There is structural similarity between liquid and crystalline phase in terms of the local arrangement environment, and the connection schemes of polyhedras. The forming signature of Mg2Ca, as hinted by the topological and chemical short-range order originating from liquid, ascends monotonically with increasing rCa/Al. However, Al2Ca crystal-like order increase at first and then decrease at the crossover of rCa/Al = 0.74, corresponding to experimental composition of phase transition from Al2Ca to Mg2Ca. The origin of phase transformation across different compositions lies in the dense packing of atomic configurations and preferential bonding of chemical species in both liquid and solid. The present finding provides a feasible scenario for manipulating phase formation to achieve high performance alloys by tailoring the crystal-like order in liquid.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Magnesium and Alloys|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Metals and Alloys