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Failure of metals III : Fracture and fatigue of nanostructured metallic materials

Abstract : Pushing the internal or external dimensions of metallic alloys down to the nanometer scale gives rise to strong materials, though most often at the expense of a low ductility and a low resistance to cracking, with negative impact on the transfer to engineering applications. These characteristics are observed, with some exceptions, in bulk ultra-fine grained and nanocrystalline metals, nano-twinned metals, thin metallic coatings on substrates and freestanding thin metallic films and nanowires. This overview encompasses all these systems to reveal commonalities in the origins of the lack of ductility and fracture resistance, in factors governing fatigue resistance, and in ways to improve properties. After surveying the various processing methods and key deformation mechanisms, we systematically address the current state of the art in terms of plastic localization, damage, static and fatigue cracking, for three classes of systems: (1) bulk ultra-fine grained and nanocrystalline metals, (2) thin metallic films on substrates, and (3) 1D and 2D freestanding micro and nanoscale systems. In doing so, we aim to favour cross-fertilization between progress made in the fields of mechanics of thin films, nanomechanics, fundamental researches in bulk nanocrystalline metals and metallurgy to impart enhanced resistance to fracture and fatigue in high-strength nanostructured systems. This involves exploiting intrinsic mechanisms, e.g. to enhance hardening and rate-sensitivity so as to delay necking, or improve grain-boundary cohesion to resist intergranular cracks or voids. Extrinsic methods can also be utilized such as by hybridizing the metal with another material to delocalize the deformation - as practiced in stretchable electronics. Fatigue crack initiation is in principle improved by a fine structure, but at the expense of larger fatigue crack growth rates. Extrinsic toughening through hybridization allows arresting or bridging cracks. The content and discussions are based on experimental, theoretical and simulation results from the recent literature, and focus is laid on linking microstructure and physical mechanisms to the overall mechanical behavior.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 2:51:34 PM
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André Pineau, Amine A. Benzerga, T. Pardoen. Failure of metals III : Fracture and fatigue of nanostructured metallic materials. Acta Materialia, Elsevier, 2016, 107, pp.508-544. ⟨10.1016/j.actamat.2015.07.049⟩. ⟨hal-01308286⟩

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