Size-dependent plastic deformation and failure mechanisms of nanotwinned Ni3Al: Insights from an atomistic cracking model
YJ Wang and K Tsuchiya and LH Dai, MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A-STRUCTURAL MATERIALS PROPERTIES MICROSTRUCTURE AND PROCESSING, 649, 449-460 (2016).
The polycrystalline Ni3Al is brittle since the notorious intergranular fracture mode hinders its applications. Here we perform molecular dynamics to highlight the unique role of nanotwin boundary in the plastic deformation and failure mechanisms of Ni3Al via an atomistic cracking model. Surprisingly, the strength, ductility and fracture toughness of the nanotwinned Ni3Al are revealed to increase simultaneously with reducing twin size, possibly evading a traditional tradeoff between ductility/toughness and strength. A possible quasi- brittle fracture mode in single crystalline Ni3Al is recognized as nucleating twinning partials from crack tip. However, the pre-existing twin boundaries can suppress the emission and propagation of successive twinning dislocations. Instead, dislocation avalanches happen and serve as a crack blunting mechanism which leads to the ductile fracture pattern of the nanotwinned Ni3Al. A sizedependent transition of fracture mode from dislocation nucleation to shear localization is observed as twin becomes very small. A physical model combined with energetics analysis is provided to rationalize the transition. Our atomistic insights are in qualitative agreement with recent observations of improved strength and ductility of Ni3Al with disordered nanotwinned structure after severe plastic deformation. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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