Author(s): Yamakov V, Wolf D, Phillpot SR, Mukherjee AK, Gleiter H
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Abstract Molecular-dynamics simulations have recently been used to elucidate the transition with decreasing grain size from a dislocation-based to a grain-boundary-based deformation mechanism in nanocrystalline f.c.c. metals. This transition in the deformation mechanism results in a maximum yield strength at a grain size (the 'strongest size') that depends strongly on the stacking-fault energy, the elastic properties of the metal, and the magnitude of the applied stress. Here, by exploring the role of the stacking-fault energy in this crossover, we elucidate how the size of the extended dislocations nucleated from the grain boundaries affects the mechanical behaviour. Building on the fundamental physics of deformation as exposed by these simulations, we propose a two-dimensional stress-grain size deformation-mechanism map for the mechanical behaviour of nanocrystalline f.c.c. metals at low temperature. The map captures this transition in both the deformation mechanism and the related mechanical behaviour with decreasing grain size, as well as its dependence on the stacking-fault energy, the elastic properties of the material, and the applied stress level.
This article was published in Nat Mater
and referenced in Journal of Powder Metallurgy & Mining