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Micro-Mechanical Response of Ultrafine Grain and Nanocrystalline Tantalum

  • In order to investigate the effect of grain boundaries on the mechanical response in the micrometer and submicrometer levels, complementary experiments and molecular dynamics simulations were conducted on a model bcc metal, tantalum. Microscale pillar experiments (diameters of 1 and 2 μm) with a grain size of ∼ 100-200 nm revealed a mechanical response characterized by a yield stress of ∼1,500 MPa. The hardening of the structure is reflected in the increase in the flow stress to 1,700 MPa at a strain of ∼0.35. Molecular dynamics simulations were conducted for nanocrystalline tantalum with grain sizes in the range of 20-50 nm and pillar diameters in the same range. The yield stress was approximately 6,000 MPa for all specimens and the maximum of the stress-strain curves occurred at a strain of 0.07. Beyond that strain, the material softened because of its inability to store dislocations. The experimental results did not show a significant size dependence of yield stress on pillar diameter (equal to 1 and 2 um), which is attributed to the high ratio between pillar diameter and grain size (∼10-20). This behavior is quite different from that in monocrystalline specimens where dislocation ‘starvation’ leads to a significant size dependence of strength. The ultrafine grains exhibit clear ‘pancaking’ upon being plastically deformed, with an increase in dislocation density. The plastic deformation is much more localized for the single crystals than for the nanocrystalline specimens, an observation made in both modeling and experiments. In the molecular dynamics simulations, the ratio of pillar diameter (20-50 nm) to grain size was in the range 0.2 to 2, and a much greater dependence of yield stress to pillar diameter was observed. A critical result from this work is the demonstration that the important parameter in establishing the overall deformation is the ratio between the grain size and pillar diameter; it governs the deformation mode as well as surface sources and sinks, which are only important when the grain size is of the same order as the pillar diameter.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Wen Yang, Carlos J. RuestesORCiD, Zezhou Li, Oscar Torrents AbadORCiD, Terence G. LangdonORCiD, Birgit Heiland, Marcus Koch, Eduard ArztORCiD, Marc A. MeyersORCiD
Parent Title (English):Journal of Materials Research and Technology
First Page:1804
Last Page:1815
Year of first Publication:2021
Release Date:2022/08/13
Tag:Micropillar; Nanocrystalline; Tantalum
Impact:06.267 (2021)
Funding Information:UC Research Laboratories Grant (09-LR-06-118456-MEYM)
Groups:Funktionelle Mikrostrukturen
Physikalische Analytik
DDC classes:500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 530 Physik
Open Access:Open Access
Signature:INM 2021/035
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International