Publication Details

Cheng, K., Zhang, L., Lu, C. & Tieu, K. (2016). Coupled grain boundary motion in aluminium: The effect of structural multiplicity. Scientific Reports, 6 25427-1-25427-11.


The shear-induced coupled grain boundary motion plays an important role in the deformation of nanocrystalline (NC) materials. It has been known that the atomic structure of the grain boundary (GB) is not necessarily unique for a given set of misorientation and inclination of the boundary plane. However, the effect of the structural multiplicity of the GB on its coupled motion has not been reported. In the present study we investigated the structural multiplicity of the symmetric tilt Σ 5(310) boundary in aluminium and its influence on the GB behaviour at a temperature range of 300 K-600 K using molecular dynamic simulations. Two starting atomic configurations were adopted in the simulations which resulted in three different GB structures at different temperatures. Under the applied shear deformation each GB structure exhibited its unique GB behaviour. A dual GB behaviour, namely the transformation of one GB behaviour to another during deformation, was observed for the second starting configuration at a temperature of 500 K. The atomistic mechanisms responsible for these behaviour were analysed in detail. The result of this study implicates a strong relationship between GB structures and their behaviour, and provides a further information of the grain boundary mediated plasticity in nanocrystalline materials.

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