Anomalous deformation twinning in fcc metals at high temperatures

T Sinha and Y Kulkarni, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 109, 114315 (2011).

DOI: 10.1063/1.3596517

Nanotwinned structures have shown strong promise as optimal motifs for strength, ductility, and grain stability in fcc metals-in sharp contrast to their nano-grained counterparts where gains in strength are disappointingly offset by loss of ductility. However, their high temperature stability has remained relatively unaddressed. Here we investigate the high temperature response of twin boundaries that constitute these nanostructured metals, by way of molecular dynamics simulations. At low and intermediate temperatures, the twin boundaries exhibit normal motion coupled to shear deformation as expected. However, our simulations at higher temperatures (above 0.5-0.7 T(m)), reveal considerable deformation twinning, an occurrence that has not been observed before in fcc metals. Although the origins of this intriguing behavior are not yet clear to us, we discuss a possible conjecture by addressing the following questions: (i) Why is the high temperature response of some fcc metals different? (ii) Why do we observe a transition from twin migration to stacking fault nucleation and subsequent twin formation at high temperatures? (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. doi: 10.1063/1.3596517

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