Atomistic characterization of pseudoelasticity and shape memory in NiTi nanopillars

Y Zhong and K Gall and T Zhu, ACTA MATERIALIA, 60, 6301-6311 (2012).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2012.08.004

Molecular dynamics simulations are performed to study the atomistic mechanisms governing the pseudoelasticity and shape memory in nickel- titanium (NiTi) nanostructures. For a < 1 1 0 > - oriented nanopillar subjected to compressive loading unloading, we observe either a pseudoelastic or shape memory response, depending on the applied strain and temperature that control the reversibility of phase transformation and deformation twinning. We show that irreversible twinning arises owing to the dislocation pinning of twin boundaries, while hierarchically twinned microstructures facilitate the reversible twinning. The nanoscale size effects are manifested as the load serration, stress plateau and large hysteresis loop in stress strain curves that result from the high stresses required to drive the nucleation-controlled phase transformation and deformation twinning in nanosized volumes. Our results underscore the importance of atomistically resolved modeling for understanding the phase and deformation reversibilities that dictate the pseudoelasticity and shape memory behavior in nanostructured shape memory alloys. (C) 2012 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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