Plastic Deformation Mechanisms of FCC Single Crystals at Small Scales


Three-dimensional (3-D) dislocation dynamics simulations were employed to examine the fundamental mechanisms of plasticity in small-scale face-centered cubic single crystals. Guided by the simulation results, we examined two distinct modes of behavior that reflect the dominant physical mechanisms of plastic deformation at small scales. We found that the residence lifetimes of internal dislocation sources formed by cross-slip decrease as the system size decreases. Below a critical sample size (which depends on the initial density of dislocations) the dislocation loss rate exceeds the multiplication rate, leading to the loss of internal dislocation sources. In this case nucleation of surface dislocations is required to provide dislocations for deformation and the "starvation hardening" mechanism becomes the dominant deformation process. When the sample is larger than a critical size multiplication of internal dislocation sources provides the dominant mechanism for plastic flow. As the strain is increased the rising dislocation density leads to reactions that shut off these sources, creating "exhaustion hardening".


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cross-Slip; Dislocation Starvation; Size Effects; Small Scales; Critical Size; Deformation Process; Dislocation Densities; Dislocation Dynamics Simulation; Dislocation Sources; Dominant Mechanism; Exhaustion Hardening; Face-Centered Cubic; Fcc Single Crystals; Initial Density; Loss Rates; Multiplication Rate; Physical Mechanism; Plastic Deformation Mechanisms; Sample Sizes; Simulation Result

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Article - Journal

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© 2011 Elsevier Limited, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2011