Atomistic Investigation of Titanium Carbide Ti8C5 under Impact Loading

K Xia and HF Zhan and JL Shao and JQ Wang and ZQ Zheng and XJ Zhang and ZY Li, METALS, 12, 1989 (2022).

DOI: 10.3390/met12111989

Titanium carbides attract attention from both academic and industry fields because of their intriguing mechanical properties and proven potential as appealing candidates in the variety of fields such as nanomechanics, nanoelectronics, energy storage and oil/water separation devices. A recent study revealed that the presence of Ti8C5 not only improves the impact strength of composites as coatings, but also possesses significant strengthening performance as an interlayer material in composites by forming strong bonding between different matrices, which sheds light on the design of impact protection composite materials. To further investigate the impact resistance and strengthening mechanism of Ti8C5, a pilot Molecular Dynamics (MD) study utilizing comb3 potential is carried out on a Ti8C5 nanosheet by subjecting it to hypervelocity impacts. The deformation behaviour of Ti8C5 and the related impact resist mechanisms are assessed in this research. At a low impact velocity similar to 0.5 km/s, the main resonance frequency of Ti8C5 is 11.9 GHz and its low Q factor (111.9) indicates a decent energy damping capability, which would eliminate the received energy in an interfacial reflection process and weaken the shock waves for Ti8C5 strengthened composites. As the impact velocity increases above the threshold of 1.8 km/s, Ti8C5 demonstrates brittle behaviour, which is signified by its insignificant out-of-plane deformation prior to crack initiation. When tracking atomic Von Mises stress distribution, the elastic wave propagation velocity of Ti8C5 is calculated to be 5.34 and 5.90 km/s for X and Y directions, respectively. These figures are inferior compared with graphene and copper, which indicate slower energy delocalization rates and thus less energy dissipation via deformation is expected prior to bond break. However, because of its relatively small mass density comparing with copper, Ti8C5 presents superior specific penetration. This study provides a fundamental understanding of the deformation and penetration mechanisms of titanium carbide nanosheets under impact, which is crucial in order to facilitate emerging impact protection applications for titanium carbide-related composites.

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