Thermal softening-suppressed inter-granular embrittlement of polycrystalline 3C-SiC under diamond cutting

L Zhao and JG Zhang and YF Fu and JJ Zhang and A Hartmaier and T Sun, MATERIALS & DESIGN, 223, 111250 (2022).

DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2022.111250

While the deformation behavior of grain boundaries has a strong impact on the mechanical response of polycrystalline materials, investigating the coupled thermal-mechanical properties of grain boundaries in their real formats is crucial for enhancing the ductile machinability of hard brittle polycrystalline ceramic materials. In the present work, we report the thermal softening-suppressed inter-granular fracture, accompanied with enhanced stacking fault formation, increased healing ability of grain boundaries and promoted ductile material removal, in diamond cutting of polycrystalline 3C-SiC at elevated temperatures by multi-scale simulations. Molecular dynamics simulations and experiments of high temperature nanoindentations are performed to derive the temperature-dependent mechanical properties of bulk polycrystalline 3C-SiC. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulations of Mode I (tension) and Mode II (shearing) loading of a Sigma 9<110>122 symmetric tilt grain boundary at elevated temperatures are performed to extract the temperature-dependent mechanical properties of grain boundaries in polycrystalline 3C-SiC. A novel finite element model of heat treatment- assisted diamond cutting of polycrystalline 3C-SiC with the comprehensive consideration of thermal properties of both grains and grain boundaries at elevated temperatures is established to reveal the transition of material removal mode, grain boundary failure behavior, cutting force characteristics and chip profile with temperature. (c) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Return to Publications page