Molecular dynamics simulation of nanoindentation on nano-twinned FeCoCrNiCu high entropy alloy

YW Sun and H Xin and WD Song and D Zhao and SG Ma, MOLECULAR SIMULATION, 49, 1125-1134 (2023).

DOI: 10.1080/08927022.2023.2219761

Twin boundary (TB) plays an important role in the deformation process of materials. In this paper, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was used to investigate the nanoindentation deformation behaviour of single-crystal FeCoCrNiCu high entropy alloy (SC-HEA) and nano-twinned FeCoCrNiCu high entropy alloy (NT-HEA) with different twin spacings. It is found that the main characteristic of plastic deformation of SC-HEA is the dislocation loop emission. The dislocation movement and distribution of NT-HEA are very different from that of SC-HEA. We found that partial dislocation slip parallel to the twin boundary (PSPTB) and twin partial slip (TPS) can lead to alloy softening. The hindrance of the TB causes the dislocation to slip within a single layer (known as confined layer slip, CLS), which strengthens the material. In the process of nanoindentation, the softening and strengthening mechanisms are constantly competing. When the twin spacing is larger than 1.23 nm, CLS dominates the competition with the hardening mechanism, and the hardness of the material increases with the decrease of the twin spacing. When the twin spacing is less than 1.23 nm, the dominant mechanism of plastic deformation changes to the softening mechanism controlled by TPS, and the hardness thus decreases as twin spacing increases.

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