Traction-separation relationships for hydrogen induced grain boundary embrittlement in nickel via molecular dynamics simulations
W Barrows and R Dingreville and D Spearot, MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A-STRUCTURAL MATERIALS PROPERTIES MICROSTRUCTURE AND PROCESSING, 650, 354-364 (2016).
A statistical approach combined with molecular dynamics simulations is used to study the influence of hydrogen on intergranular decohesion. This methodology is applied to a Ni Sigma 3(112)1 (1) over bar0 symmetric tilt grain boundary. Hydrogenated grain boundaries with different H concentrations are constructed using an energy minimization technique with initial H atom positions guided by Monte Carlo simulation results. Decohesion behavior is assessed through extraction of a traction-separation relationship during steady-state crack propagation in a statistically meaningful approach, building upon prior work employing atomistic cohesive zone volume elements (CZVEs). A sensitivity analysis is performed on the numerical approach used to extract the traction-separation relationships, clarifying the role of CZVE size, threshold parameters necessary to differentiate elastic and decohesion responses, and the numerical averaging technique. Results show that increasing H coverage at the Ni Sigma 3(112)1 (1) over bar0 grain boundary asymmetrically influences the crack tip velocity during propagation, leads to a general decrease in the work of separation required for crack propagation, and provides a reduction in the peak stress in the extracted traction-separation relationship. The present framework offers a meaningful vehicle to pass atomistically derived interfacial behavior to higher length scale formulations for intergranular fracture. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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