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Pronounced grain boundary network evolution in nanocrystalline Cu subjected to large cyclic strains

David B. Bober, Thomas LaGrange, Mukul Kumar, Timothy J. Rupert
2018 Journal of Materials Research  
The grain boundary network of nanocrystalline Cu foils was modified by the systematic application of cyclic loadings and elevated temperatures having a range of magnitudes. Most broadly, the changes to the boundary network were directly correlated to the applied temperature and accumulated strain, including a 300% increase in the twin length fraction. By independently varying each treatment variable, a matrix of grain boundary statistics was built to check the plausibility of hypothesized
more » ... hypothesized mechanisms against their expected temperature and stress/strain dependences. These comparisons allow the field of candidate mechanisms to be significantly narrowed. Most importantly, the effect of temperature and strain on twin length fraction were found to be strongly synergistic, with the combined effect being ~150% that of the summed individual contributions. Looking beyond scalar metrics, an analysis of the grain boundary network showed that twin related domain formation favored larger sizes and repeated twin variant selection over the creation of many small domains with diverse variants. Taken together, the evidence indicates that shear-coupled boundary migration twinning is the most likely explanation for grain boundary engineering in nanocrystalline Cu.
doi:10.1557/jmr.2018.334 fatcat:bukl3stdfje27dqzuuq4fi373q