The role of dislocations in the growth of nanosized voids in ductile failure of metals

MA Meyers and S Traiviratana and VA Lubarda and DJ Benson and EM Bringa, JOM, 61, 35-41 (2009).

DOI: 10.1007/s11837-009-0025-7

Dislocations are the most important element in our understanding of the mechanical response of metals. Their postulation in 1934 led to revolutionary advances in our ability to predict the mechanical behavior of materials. The authors recently advanced a dislocation mechanism for void growth in ductile metals. This paper reviews the analytical and atomistic calculations carried out in support of this model. The emission of shear dislocation loops, nucleated at the surface of nanosized voids, is responsible for the outward flux of matter, promoting void growth. This is a new paradigm in the initiation of void growth, which was attributed to convergent vacancy diffusion or to prismatic loops by others. The analytical treatment is based on the emission of a dislocation from a void in the plane along which the shear stresses are maximum. Molecular dynamics calculations performed for different orientations of the tensile axis show how the loops generate and expand outward. These loops involve the emission of partial dislocations and are the counterpart for voids of the Ashby geometrically necessary shear loops postulated for rigid particles. This process is demonstrated for bicrystalline and nanocrystalline copper.

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