Localized deformation and hardening in irradiated metals: Three-dimensional discrete dislocation dynamics simulations
When irradiated, metals undergo significant internal damage accumulation and degradation of mechanical properties. Damage takes the form of a high number density of nanosize defect clusters (stacking-fault tetrahedrons (SFTs) or interstitial loops). The alteration of mechanical properties is manifested in a hardening behavior and localized plastic deformation in defect-free channels. This work uses discrete dislocation dynamics (DD) to capture these effects. It sets the framework for the elastic interaction between gliding dislocations and defect clusters and details a scheme for loop unfaulting and absorption into dislocations. Here, it is shown that SFTs represents weaker pinning points for dislocation motion than parent dislocation loops. It is also shown that appreciable yield drop can be attributed to high density of defects decorating the dislocations. Strong obstacles cause dislocations in Cu to continually double cross slip causing the formation of defect-free channels. Finally, the correlation between yield stress increase and defect number density is in excellent agreement with the experiment.