Effect of free surfaces on localized plastic deformation in single- crystal nickel containing helium bubbles and radiation-induced self- interstitial atom clusters

TY Liu and MJ Demkowicz, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 587, 154741 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2023.154741

This paper presents molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of plastic deformation in single-crystal Ni models containing internal distributions of helium (He) bubbles and self-interstitial atom (SIA) clusters corresponding to experimental characterization of ex-service Inconel X-750 components. We simulate single crystals with and without free surfaces at room temperature and 588K, the latter temperature corresponding to the Inconel X-750 service conditions. Both models are deformed under multiple slip to a maximum deviatoric strain of similar to 10 %. A dislocation slip band forms in the model without free surfaces, but not in the model with free surfaces. However, the latter exhibits nano-twin nucleation from surfaces. Helium (He) bubbles that overlap with a slip band or a nano-twinned region deform more severely than other bubbles in the model. Nevertheless, the bubbles do not link up and do not form configurations that resemble incipient cracks.

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