Atomic-level mechanism of spallation microvoid nucleation in medium entropy alloys under shock loading

ZC Xie and Y Chen and HY Wang and LH Dai, SCIENCE CHINA-TECHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 64, 1360-1370 (2021).

DOI: 10.1007/s11431-021-1814-y

Spallation, rupture under impulsive tensile loading, is a dynamic failure process involving the collective evolution and accumulation of enormous microdamage in solids. In contrast to traditional alloys, the spallation mechanism in medium entropy alloys, the recently emerged multiprinciple and chemically disordered alloys, is poorly understood. Here we conduct molecular dynamics simulations and first principle calculations to investigate the effects of impact velocities and the local chemical order on spallation microvoid nucleation in a CrCoNi medium entropy alloy under shock wave loading. As the impact velocity increases, the microvoid nucleation site exhibits a transition from the grain boundaries to the grains to release redundant imposed energy. During the intragranular nucleation process, microvoids nucleate in the poor-Cr region with a large local nonaffine deformation, which is attributed to the weak metallic bonds in this position with sparse free electrons. For intergranular nucleation, a Franke-like dislocation source forms through the dislocation reaction, leading to enormous dislocations piling up in a narrow twin stripe, which markedly increases the local stored energy and promotes microvoid nucleation. These results shed light on the mechanism of spallation in chemically complexed medium entropy alloys.

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