Strengthening versus Softening of Nanotwinned Copper Depending on Prestress and Twin Spacing

J Han and JP Sun and Y Han and H Zhu and L Fang, METALS, 8, 344 (2018).

DOI: 10.3390/met8050344

This paper addressed the prestress-and twin spacing-dependent deformation as well as the hardening-to-softening transition in nanotwinned copper (nt-Cu) using molecular dynamics simulations. The results demonstrated that the hardening-to-softening transition always occurs at any prestress with decreasing twin spacing in nt-Cu compared with its single crystal counterpart, while it occurs at specific twin spacing with decreasing prestress. The hardening-to-softening transition induced by decreasing twin spacing or prestress is due to the same mechanism, i.e., transition in the initial plasticity mechanism from the activity of partial dislocation to twinning dislocation. Moreover, the indentation hardness increases with decreasing prestress, reaching its maximum, followed by decreases at smaller values for all nt-Cu. However, the critical prestress at the maximum indentation hardness significantly depends on twin spacing. Finally, a model was developed to explain this special deformation behavior. The present results could deepen our understanding of the deformation behavior of nt-Cu and provide a new paradigm for the design of this material under complex stress state.

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