The Influence of Carbides on Atomic-Scale Mechanical Properties of Carbon Steel: A Molecular Dynamics Study

L Zhang and LL Yang and K Sun and PJ Zhu and KR Chen, NANOMATERIALS, 12, 4179 (2022).

DOI: 10.3390/nano12234179

Pearlite is an important structure in carbon steel; however, the influence mechanism of carbides in pearlite on its mechanical properties and microstructure evolution has not yet been fully elucidated. In this work, a ferrite-carbide composite model with various carbide types was constructed to investigate the influence of carbide types via a uniaxial compression deformation using classical molecular dynamics simulations. It was found that the carbide type had little effect on the compressive elastic modulus, but a more obvious effect on the yield strain, yield stress, and flow stress. The maximum compressive elastic modulus was in the Fe2C model, with 300.32 GPa, while the minimum was found in the Fe4C model at 285.16 GPa; the error was 5.32%. There were significant differences in the yield stress, yield strain, and flow stress of the ferrite-carbide model according to the stress-strain curve. Secondly, the type of carbide used affected its elastic constant, especially the bulk modulus and Cauchy pressure. The maximum bulk modulus of the Fe4C model was 199.01 GPa, the minimum value of the Fe3C model was 146.03 GPa, and the difference was 52.98 GPa. The Cauchy pressure calculation results were consistent with the yield strain trend. Additionally, the effective elastic moduli of the composite system were used to verify the accuracy of the calculation results of this work. Thirdly, ferrite- carbide interfaces could act as a resource for dislocation emission. The initial stacking fault forms at ferrite-carbide interfaces and expands into ferrite. The dislocation type and segment in the ferrite-carbide model were significantly different due to the type of carbide used.

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