Separating grain boundary migration mechanisms in molecular dynamics simulations

F Ulomek and V Mohles, ACTA MATERIALIA, 103, 424-432 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2015.10.021

In molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of grain boundary (GB) migration it is quite common to find a temperature dependence of GB mobility that deviates strongly from an Arrhenius-type dependence. This usually indicates that more than one mechanism is actually active. With the goal to separate different GB migration mechanisms we investigate a Sigma 7 < 111 > 38.2 degrees GB by MD using an EAM potential for aluminium. To drive the GB with a well-known and adjustable force, the energy conserving orientational driving force (ECO DF) is used that had been introduced recently. The magnitude of the DF and the temperature are varied. This yielded a high and a low temperature range for the GB velocity, with a transition temperature that depends on the magnitude of the DF. A method is introduced which allows both a visual and a statistical characterization of GB motion on a per atom basis. These analyses reveal that two mechanisms are active in this GB, a shuffling mechanism and its initiation. These mechanisms operate in a sequential, coupled manner. Based on this, a simple model is introduced that describes all simulated GB velocities (and hence the mobility) very well, including the transition between the dominating mechanisms. (c) 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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