Precipitate size and number density are two key factors for tailoring the mechanical behavior of nanoscale precipitate-hardened alloys. However, during thermal aging, the precipitate size and number density change, leading to either poor strength or high strength but significantly reduced ductility. Here we demonstrate, by producing nanoscale co-precipitates in composition-optimized multicomponent precipitation-hardened alloys, a unique approach to improve the stability of the alloy against thermal aging and hence the mechanical properties. Our study provides compelling experimental evidence that these nanoscale co-precipitates consist of a Cu-enriched bcc core partially encased by a B2-ordered Ni(Mn, Al) phase. This co-precipitate provides a more complex obstacle for dislocation movement due to atomic ordering together with interphases, resulting in a high yield strength alloy without sacrificing alloy ductility.
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