Effect of vacancies on incipient plasticity during contact loading

I Salehinia and V Perez and DF Bahr, PHILOSOPHICAL MAGAZINE, 92, 550-570 (2012).

DOI: 10.1080/14786435.2011.628635

Atomistic simulations and experimental nanoindentation tests were used to examine the effect of vacancies on the inception of plastic deformation in Ni. Molecular dynamics have shown the effect of vacancy position on the yield load and demonstrate a variety of mechanisms which are responsible for the inception of plastic deformation during indentation. In cases where the vacancy position is close to regions of high shear stresses the nucleation of dislocations is related to the location of a vacancy; however, homogeneous nucleation of dislocations is also observed for vacancy-containing crystals. Complementary experiments have been used to demonstrate the effect of indenter size on the onset of yielding in the presence of vacancies. Both the simulations and experiments show that larger indenter tips increase the chance of weakening the material in the presence of vacancies.

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