Healing of nanocracks by collision cascades in nickel

P Chen and A Chesetti and MJ Demkowicz, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 555, 153124 (2021).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.153124

We use molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the interaction between collision cascades and pre-existing nanocracks in nickel (Ni). We find that collision cascades cause the cracks to heal whenever a cascade initiates a thermal spike whose core overlaps with the crack. Moreover, crack healing affects the distribution of radiation-induced defects generated during a collision cascade: defect clusters, such as dislocations and stacking fault tetrahedra, dominate in the presence of crack healing, while isolated point defects dominate in its absence. This work indicates that irradiation may reduce the number of pre- existing crack-like flaws in metallic components, potentially improving their mechanical resilience. (c) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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