Effect of Excess Atomic Volume on Crack Evolution in a Deformed Iron Single Crystal

DS Kryzhevich and AV Korchuganov and KP Zolnikov, MATERIALS, 14, 6124 (2021).

DOI: 10.3390/ma14206124

This paper presents a molecular dynamics study of how the localization and transfer of excess atomic volume by structural defects affects the evolution and self-healing of nanosized cracks in bcc iron single crystals under different mechanical loading conditions at room temperature. It is shown that deformation is initially accompanied by a local growth of the atomic volume at the crack tips. The crack growth behavior depends on whether the excess atomic volume can be transferred by structural defects from the crack tips to the free surface or other interfaces. If an edge crack is oriented with respect to the loading direction so that dislocations are not emitted from its tip or only twins are emitted, then the sample undergoes a brittle-ductile fracture. The transfer of the excess atomic volume by dislocations from the crack tips prevents the opening of edge cracks and is an effective healing mechanism for nanocracks in a mechanically loaded material.

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