Scratching of nanocrystalline metals: A molecular dynamics study of Fe

Y Gao and HM Urbassek, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, 389, 688-695 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.07.139

Using molecular dynamics simulation we study the influence of grain boundaries on the indentation and scratching of Fe crystals by a hard repulsive tip. By comparing the results for nanocrystalline Fe with those for single crystals, the effect of grain boundaries on the normal and tangential forces, the hardness and the friction coefficient can be determined. We use nanocrystals of various grain sizes, and also vary the tip diameter. This allows us to determine the influence of these parameters on the scratching process. We find that with increasing size of the grains relative to the indenter the normal force needed for indentation or in scratch increases, and the friction coefficient is reduced. However, grain orientation has a dominant effect on the pile-up shape, and also influences the friction coefficient strongly. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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