When twins collide: Twin junctions in nanocrystalline nickel

SL Thomas and AH King and DJ Srolovitz, ACTA MATERIALIA, 113, 301-310 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2016.04.030

We present the results of large-scale molecular dynamics simulations of grain growth in polycrystalline nickel with nanoscale grains. The simulations show that grain growth is accompanied by coherent twin boundary (013) generation. As the grains grow, twins collide; such collisions result in twin junctions. We catalog all possible twin junctions and show examples of each from the simulations. These include junctions of 2-4 CTBs with grain boundaries and five-fold twin junctions (penta-twins). We elucidate the mechanisms by which all of these junctions form and their relative frequencies. Penta-twins, which are rare in coarse microstructures, occur frequently in nanocrystalline metals. Their absence in macro scale samples can be traced to the wedge- disclination character (and, consequently, an elastic energy that diverges with sample size). In the nanocrystalline case, the presence of penta-twins can be traced to this twin collision formation mechanism, which is responsible for their wedge-disclination dipole character (relatively small elastic energy). We demonstrate how all CTB junctions, especially penta-twins, retard grain growth. (C) 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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