Atomistic simulation of fatigue in face centred cubic metals

Abstract : Fatigue is one of the major damage mechanisms of metals. It is characterized by strong environmental effects and wide lifetime dispersions which must be better understood. Different face centred cubic metals, Al, Cu, Ni, and Ag are analyzed. The mechanical behaviour of surface steps naturally created by the glide of dislocations subjected to cyclic loading is examined using molecular dynamics simulations in vacuum and in air for Cu and Ni. An atomistic reconstruction phenomenon is observed at these surface steps which can induce strong irreversibility. Three different mechanisms of reconstruction are defined. Surface slip irreversibility under cyclic loading is analyzed. All surface steps are intrinsically irreversible under usual fatigue laboratory loading amplitude without the arrival of opposite sign dislocations on direct neighbor plane.With opposite sign dislocations on non direct neighbour planes, irreversibility cumulates cycle by cycle and a micro-notch is produced whose depth gradually increases.Oxygen environment affects the surface (first stage of oxidation) but does not lead to higher irreversibility as it has no major influence on the different mechanisms linked to surface relief evolution.A rough estimation of surface irreversibility is carried out for pure edge dislocations in persistent slip bands in so-called wavy materials. It gives an irreversibility fraction between 0.5 and 0.75 in copper in vacuum and in air, in agreement with recent atomic force microscopy measurements.Crack propagation mechanisms are simulated in inert environment. Cracks can propagate owing to the irreversibility of generated dislocations because of their mutual interactions up to the formation of dislocation junctions.
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Zhengxuan Fan. Atomistic simulation of fatigue in face centred cubic metals. Mechanics of materials [physics.class-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLX076⟩. ⟨tel-01526211⟩

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