Accelerated molecular dynamics simulations for characterizing plastic deformation in crystalline materials with cracks

S Chakraborty and JX Zhang and S Ghosh, COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE, 121, 23-34 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2016.04.026

Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations are often used for comprehending evolving deformation mechanisms in materials at the atomic scale and also for assessing continuum-scale material properties. A major limitation of conventional MD simulations is that very small MD time- scale (similar to fs), restrict the achievable strain-rates to be much higher (similar to 107 or higher) than experimentally observed rates, needed for continuum scale modeling, e.g. using crystal plasticity finite element methods. A strain-boost hyperdynamics method based accelerated MD tool is adopted and developed to overcome these limitations. This method biases the atomic system to make it evolve at much faster time-scales and achieve strainrates that are at least three order of magnitude smaller than the lowest strain-rate achievable in MD. The hyperdynamics algorithm is implemented in a parallel version of LAMMPS, and validated with conventional MD. It is then used to predict evolution of plastic state variables at lower strain-rates for a Nickel single crystal with an embedded atomistic crack. It is shown that at lower strain-rates, not only the evolution of plastic variables are different, but for some configurations there is a shift in the plastic deformation mechanism from twin dominated to dislocation dominated. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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