On incipient plasticity in the vicinity of grain boundaries in aluminum bicrystals: Experimental and simulation nanoindentation study
LA Barrales-Mora and Y Tokuda and DA Molodov and S Tsurekawa, MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A-STRUCTURAL MATERIALS PROPERTIES MICROSTRUCTURE AND PROCESSING, 828, 142100 (2021).
The local mechanical behavior near <100> symmetric tilt grain boundaries in aluminum bicrystals were studied by the nanoindentation technique as well as by computer simulations. Experimentally, grain boundaries with misorientation angles 8.7 degrees, 13.8 degrees and 18.8 degrees were examined. Two well pronounced pop-in events were observed on the load - penetration depth curves measured during indentation in the close vicinity of the studied boundaries. The load of the pop-ins, observed close to the boundaries, practically did not differ from that obtained in the grain interior. This was interpreted as evidence that the boundaries with misorientations in the examined angular range do not represent specific sites for sources of lattice dislocations. The load, at which the second pop-ins took place, substantially increased with increasing misorientation angle of the examined boundaries. Quasistatic molecular dynamics simulations were performed to identify the details of the interaction between grain boundary and dislocations generated during indentation. For this purpose, the bicrystals with similar geometry and misorientation angles, as investigated experimentally, were computed. The simulation results showed that the direct transmission of incoming dislocations across the grain boundary was the primary mechanism for the plastic flow transfer past the boundary. The analysis of the results of both experiments and simulations provided evidence that the capability of grain boundaries to act as a barrier for the motion of incoming dislocations depends crucially on grain boundary structure.
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