Journal article

Energetics of dislocation transformations in hcp metals

Dislocation core structures of hcp metals are highly complex and differ significantly among the hcp family. Some dislocations undergo unconventional transformations that have significant effects on the material plastic flow. Here, the energetics of dislocation dissociations are analyzed in a general anisotropic linear elastic theory framework for transformations in which changes in the partial Burgers vectors are small. Quantitative analyses on various transformations are made using DFT-computed stacking fault energies and partial Burgers vectors. Specifically, possible transformations of the mixed, edge, and screw < c+a > and screw < a > dislocations in 6 hcp metals (Mg, Ti, Zr, Re, Zn, Cd) are studied. Climb dissociation of mixed or edge < c+a > dislocations to the Basal plane is energetically favorable in all 6 metals and thus only limited by thermal activation. The < c+a > screw dislocation is energetically preferable on Pyramidal I for Ti, Zr, and Re, and on Pyramidal II for Zn and Cd. In Mg, the energy difference between screw < c+a > on Pyramidal I and II planes is small, suggesting relatively easy cross-slip. For the screw < a >, Basal dissociation is energetically favorable in Mg, Re, Zn and Cd, while Prism dissociation is strongly favorable in Ti and Zr. Only Ti, Zr and Re show a metastable state for dissociation on the Prism plane, and the energy difference between screw < a > on the Prism and Pyramidal I planes is relatively small in all systems, suggesting relatively easy cross-slip of < a > in Ti and Zr. The elastic analysis thus provides a single framework able to capture the controlling energetics for different dissociations and slip systems in hcp metals. When the calculated energy differences are very small, the results point to the need for detailed modeling of the atomistic core structure. Moreover, the analyses rationalize broad experimental observations on dominant slip systems and dislocation behaviours, and provide predictions for possible transformations for the family of hcp metals. (C) 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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