Role of crystallographic orientation in material behaviour under nanoindentation: Molecular Dynamics study

A Kurgan and L Madej, MATERIALS SCIENCE-POLAND, 41, 18-26 (2023).

DOI: 10.2478/msp-2023-0032

The mechanical properties of materials can be analysed under deformation conditions by various laboratory tests. However, such experimental investigations become extremely complicated and often even impossible at the lower length scales where the arrangement of the atomic planes is considered. In this case, computational materials science is a robust alternative to extend the capabilities of laboratory tests. Therefore, the molecular dynamics technique was selected in the current work to evaluate the role of the local grain crystallographic orientation during nanoindentation testing. A pure aluminium sample was selected as a case study. For the sake of clarity, two distinctively different crystallographic orientations cube 100<001> and hard 110<011> were investigated in a set of arrangements: monocrystalline, bicrystalline, and polycrystalline. The influence of the substrate and the neighbouring grains on the material response to local deformation was evaluated. The research used two types of indenters: spherical and sharp-tipped. Results obtained were analysed with respect to the arrangement of atoms and load-displacement curves. This research proved that the role of crystallographic orientation in material behaviour under nanoindentation should not be neglected during the interpretation of data from this test.

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