Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Nanoindentation of Nb-Zr Alloys with Different Zr Content

JZ Ren and HY Wu and L Wang and ZH Fan and YZ Qiu and L Yu and EX Shi, METALS, 12, 1820 (2022).

DOI: 10.3390/met12111820

To understand the nanomechanical behaviors of the Nb-based alloys with Zr addition at room/high temperature, the molecular dynamics simulations of nanoindentation are conducted. In this work, the load-unload displacement curve, hardness, and dislocation characteristics of Nb-Zr alloys with varying Zr content ranging from 0 to 5 wt.% are studied. The simulation results are found to closely agree with the experimental one at 1 wt.%, therefore showing the reliability of the simulation. Moreover, considering distinct responses of alloys to different service temperature, the high-temperature nanoindentation are performed. The effects of Zr addition on the mechanical deformation under both temperatures are compared. The same phenomenon is found such that the optimum concentration range yielding the greatest hardness is 1-3 wt.%. The elastic modulus of NbZr alloy improves with elevated concentration at room temperature, while the hardness at higher temperature exhibits the opposite trend. This is attributed to the higher amplitude of atomic vibrations at high temperatures, which is more likely to deviate atoms from their equilibrium positions and weaken the pinning effect under external loading. Therefore, we believe that our studies on the nanomechanical mechanisms of materials at room/high temperature will provide an effective way for the alloying optimization design.

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