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An extended finite element method for modelling dislocation interactions with inclusions

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A method for modelling the interactions of dislocations with inclusions has been developed to analyse toughening mechanisms in alloys. This method is different from the superposition method in that infinite

A method for modelling the interactions of dislocations with inclusions has been developed to analyse toughening mechanisms in alloys. This method is different from the superposition method in that infinite domain solutions and image stress fields are not superimposed. The method is based on the extended finite element method (XFEM) in which the dislocations are modelled according to the Volterra dislocation model. Interior discontinuities are introduced across dislocation glide planes using enrichment functions and the resulting boundary value problem is solved through the standard finite element variational approach. The level set method is used to describe the geometry of the dislocation glide planes without any explicit treatment of the interface geometry which provides a convenient and an appealing means for describing the dislocation. A method for estimating the Peach-Koehler force by the domain form of J-integral is considered. The convergence and accuracy of the method are studied for an edge dislocation interacting with a free surface where analytical solutions are available. The force converges to the exact solution at an optimal rate for linear finite elements. The applicability of the method to dislocation interactions with inclusions is illustrated with a system of Aluminium matrix containing Aluminium-copper precipitates. The effect of size, shape and orientation of the inclusions on an edge dislocation for a difference in stiffness and coefficient of thermal expansion of the inclusions and matrix is considered. The force on the dislocation due to a hard inclusion increased by 8% in approaching the sharp corners of a square inclusion than a circular inclusion of equal area. The dislocation experienced 24% more force in moving towards the edges of a square shaped inclusion than towards its centre. When the areas of the inclusions were halved, 30% less force was exerted on the dislocation. This method was used to analyse interfaces with mismatch strains. Introducing eigenstrains equal to 0.004 to the elastic mismatch increased the force by 15 times for a circular inclusion. The energy needed to move an edge dislocation through a domain filled with circular inclusions is 4% more than that needed for a domain with square shaped inclusions.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Role of defects interactions with embrittlement species in iron: a multiscale perspective

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Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest

Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations and modeling results have led to various proposals for HE mechanisms. Therefore, to gain insights into HE mechanisms in iron, this dissertation aims to investigate several key issues involving HE such as: a) the incipient crack tip events; b) the cohesive strength of grain boundaries (GBs); c) the dislocation-GB interactions and d) the dislocation mobility.

The crack tip, which presents a preferential trap site for hydrogen segregation, was examined using atomistic methods and the continuum based Rice-Thompson criterion as sufficient concentration of hydrogen can alter the crack tip deformation mechanism. Results suggest that there is a plausible co-existence of the adsorption induced dislocation emission and hydrogen enhanced decohesion mechanisms. In the case of GB-hydrogen interaction, we observed that the segregation of hydrogen along the interface leads to a reduction in cohesive strength resulting in intergranular failure. A methodology was further developed to quantify the role of the GB structure on this behavior.

GBs play a fundamental role in determining the strengthening mechanisms acting as an impediment to the dislocation motion; however, the presence of an unsurmountable barrier for a dislocation can generate slip localization that could further lead to intergranular crack initiation. It was found that the presence of hydrogen increases the strain energy stored within the GB which could lead to a transition in failure mode. Finally, in the case of body centered cubic metals, understanding the complex screw dislocation motion is critical to the development of an accurate continuum description of the plastic behavior. Further, the presence of hydrogen has been shown to drastically alter the plastic deformation, but the precise role of hydrogen is still unclear. Thus, the role of hydrogen on the dislocation mobility was examined using density functional theory and atomistic simulations. Overall, this dissertation provides a novel atomic-scale understanding of the HE mechanism and development of multiscale tools for future endeavors.

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Date Created
  • 2015