The role of a shear planar mesodefect in the nucleation of a crack at a grain junction due to athermal grain boundary sliding

V.N. Perevezentsev, S.V. Kirikov, J.V. Svirina ORCID logo show affiliations and emails
Received 27 August 2021; Accepted 12 October 2021;
Citation: V.N. Perevezentsev, S.V. Kirikov, J.V. Svirina. The role of a shear planar mesodefect in the nucleation of a crack at a grain junction due to athermal grain boundary sliding. Lett. Mater., 2021, 11(4) 467-472


Athermal grain boundary sliding due to the motion of virtual dislocations of planar shear mesodefect essentially facilitates microcracks nucleation.Ductile fracture of polycrystalline metals is usually preceded by a long deformation stage, during which grains of polycrystal are gradually divided into mutually misoriented regions (fragments) separated by strain-induced grain boundaries. The size of these regions usually does not exceed 0.2 – 0.4 mm. At such small sizes of fragments, classical models of crack nucleation based on the concept of lattice dislocation pile-ups retarded by grain boundaries become incorrect. In recent years, models have been developed to describe the nucleation of cracks under the action of elastic stress fields of rotational and shear-type mesodefects formed at the grain junctions and grain boundaries due to inhomogeneous plastic deformation in the ensemble of polycrystal grains. In this paper we consider the possibility of the nucleation of microcracks at the grain junction due to athermal sliding along the grain boundary, containing a planar mesodefect of the shear-type induced by strain. It is assumed that a planar mesodefect, represented in the initial state by uniformly distributed glissile components of orientational misfit dislocations, loses its stability when the external stress exceeds a certain threshold value. As a result of the strain-induced grain boundary sliding and plastic shear retarding, a stress concentrator arises near the triple junction of grains, creating conditions for the appearance of a Zener crack. The dependences of the critical external stress for the nucleation of microcracks on the length of the mesodefect, its strength and the threshold stress of athermal sliding are obtained. It is shown that the presence of a mesodefect at the grain boundary can lead to a significant decrease of the crack nucleation stress in comparison with the case of pure grain boundary sliding. It is concluded that the proposed model can be considered as one of the possible mechanisms for the nucleation of microcracks in materials with a fragmented structure.

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