Atomistic insights into the synergistic effect of nanotwins and nano- precipitates on the mechanical behavior of superalloys

LY Jiao and LL Zhu and B Gan and XB Tian and SH Yi and DF Li and LG Sun, MECHANICS OF MATERIALS, 186, 104806 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.mechmat.2023.104806

As one of the typical nanostructures, nanotwins (NTs) have been utilized to evade the trade-off between strength and ductility, which is also applicable to improve the mechanical properties of superalloys. However, the optimization capability of mechanical properties by tailoring NTs has encountered bottleneck for the reasons such as inverse Hall-Petch effect and anisotropic effect. Based on the experimental observation of a special distribution pattern of NTs and nano-precipitates (NPs) in superalloys, that is, NPs are located at the twin boundaries (TBs), our work aims to study the distinctive synergistic deformation mechanism between NTs and NPs, which could become a new microstructure design strategy to optimize the mechanical properties of superalloys. Specifically, molecular dynamic (MD) method was employed to unveil the synergistic deformation mechanism of NTs and NPs in a model Ni-based superalloy. As expected, the introduction of NPs onto TBs can inhibit dislocation motion along or parallel to TBs, despite the softening deformation mode of NTs is activated. Moreover, the existence of NPs onto TBs can greatly improve the strengthening efficiency of NTs by impeding twin thickening/thinning. On the other hand, both phase boundaries and NPs interior have obstructive effect on dislocation motion, which could also be beneficial for material strengthening. More interestingly, anti-phase boundary (APB) structure will form along with the dislocations cutting through NPs. Subsequently, the APB structure can act as channels for dislocation slip and dislocation nucleation site induced by a kind of TB confinement effect, which may effectively accommodate plastic deformation. Our research outcomes could be utilized to facilitate the development of high-performance superalloys via rational collaborative design of NTs and NPs.

Return to Publications page