Design of crystalline-amorphous nanolaminates using deformation mechanism maps

B Cheng and JR Trelewicz, ACTA MATERIALIA, 153, 314-326 (2018).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2018.05.006

The deformation behavior of crystalline-amorphous nanolaminates is controlled by a confluence of mechanisms involving dislocation and grain boundary (GB) plasticity in the crystalline phase, shear transformation zone (STZ) plasticity and its localization into shear bands in the amorphous phase, and their coupling across the amorphous-crystalline interface. Leveraging molecular dynamics simulations, the influence of microstructural length scales on the mechanical behavior is quantified using deformation mechanism maps, which provide mechanistic insights into the scaling of mechanical properties with layer thickness ratio and grain size. We find that flow stress primarily scales with the relative phase fraction as deformation shifts toward STZ dominated plasticity with increasing amorphous layer thickness while the onset of plasticity is also influenced by grain size due to the role of GB plasticity in yielding. Toughness limiting mechanisms involve void formation at GBs and shear localization in the amorphous layer, where the former is attributed to dislocation-GB interactions during mixed mode deformation and the latter to dislocation slip bands biasing the process of shear localization. An Ashby plot representation combining flow stress with void and shear band localization factors demonstrates that configurations with microstructural length scales promoting cooperative strain accommodation through the coupling of dislocation, GB, and STZ plasticity exhibited limited strain localization while retaining a high flow stress, thus providing a mechanistic basis for microstructural design of crystalline-amorphous nanolaminates. (C) 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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