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Fabrication, microstructure, mechanical, and electrochemical properties of NiMnFeCu high entropy alloy from elemental powders

Transition metal based high entropy alloys (HEAs) are often used in electrocatalytic (water electrolysis) applications due to the synergistic effect operating among its constituent elements and unpaired electrons in d orbitals of the concerned metal. In this study, a low cost NiMnFeCu high entropy alloy was successfully synthesised using the combined techniques of mechanical milling (MA) and vacuum sintering. X‐ray diffraction was used to analyse the phase composition, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy were used to characterise the fabricated material’s microstructure and chemical homogeneity, thermal, and mechanical properties were tested using the differential scanning calorimetry method and a universal testing machine, respectively. Electrochemical workstation was used to carry out preliminary electrochemical studies such as linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), cyclic voltammetry (CV) and chronoamperometry. The results showed that the as‐ sintered NiMnFeCu HEA possessed a single‐ phase FCC structure. The HEA NiMnFeCu sintered at 1050 °C (S4) and 1000 °C (S2) with a holding time of 2 h showed a yield strength of 516.3 MPa and 389.8 MPa, respectively, and the micro‐hardness values were measured to be 233.45 ± 9 HV and 198.7 ± 8 HV, respectively. Preliminary electrochemical studies proved that the alloy sintered at 1000 °C (S2) with a holding time of 2 h exhibited excellent electrocatalytic properties with a measured overpotential of 322 mV at 10 mA cm⁻² at 100 cycles of CV and good stability for 10 h when compared to state‐of‐the‐art electrocatalytic materials IrO₂ and RuO₂ This suggested that the HEA NiMnFeCu fabricated under the condition S2 could potentially be used for industrial‐scale water electrolysis as it possesses permissible mechanical and good electrochemical properties.
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