Size dependence of elastic mechanical properties of nanocrystalline aluminum
WW Xu and LP Davila, MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A-STRUCTURAL MATERIALS PROPERTIES MICROSTRUCTURE AND PROCESSING, 692, 90-94 (2017).
The effect of grain size on the elastic mechanical properties of nanocrystalline pure metal Al is quantified by molecular dynamics simulation method. In this work, the largest nanocrystalline Al sample has a mean grain size of 29.6 nm and contains over 100 millions atoms in the modeling system. The simulation results show that the elastic properties including elastic modulus and ultimate tensile strength of nanocrystalline Al are relatively insensitive to the variation of mean grain size above 13 nm yet they become distinctly grain size dependent below 13 nm. Moreover, at a grain size < 13 nm, the elastic modulus decreases monotonically with decreasing grain size while the ultimate tensile strength of nanocrystalline Al initially decreases with the decrease of the grain size down to 9 nm and then increases with further reduction of grain size. The increase of ultimate tensile strength below 9 nm is believed to be a result of an extended elasticity in the ultrafine grain size nanocrystalline Al. This study can facilitate the prediction of varied mechanical properties for similar nanocrystalline materials and even guide testing and fabrication schemes of such materials.
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