Nonlinear ultrasonic response of voids and Cu precipitates in body- centered cubic Fe

W Setyawan and CH Henager and SY Hu, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 124, 035104 (2018).

DOI: 10.1063/1.5029368

Interpreting nonlinear ultrasonic signals detected in a nondestructive evaluation of radiation damage requires the knowledge of the correlation between defects and nonlinearity. In this work, molecular dynamics simulations are performed to study the effect of distributed vacancies, voids, Cu atoms, and Cu precipitates on the nonlinear ultrasonic response in body-centered cubic (bcc) Fe. The nonlinearity parameter calculated from the second harmonic amplitude in the perfect lattice is 2.73. Vacancies are found to increase the nonlinearity. However, clusters of vacancies in the form of spherical voids show an opposite effect. This finding can be used to conveniently distinguish vacancies from voids in the material. Unlike vacancies, individual Cu atoms decrease the nonlinearity. Clustering of Cu atoms into Cu precipitates further decreases the nonlinearity. Interestingly, precipitates with a diameter of 2 nm and larger exhibit a similar effect despite their different structure and coherency with the Fe matrix. Published by AIP Publishing.

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