Atomistic Modeling of Diffusion and Phase Transformations in Metals and Alloys




Pun, Ganga Prasad Purja

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Dissertation consists of multiple works. The first part is devoted to self-diffusion along dislocation cores in aluminum followed by the development of embedded atom method potentials for Co, NiAl, CoAl and CoNi systems. The last part focuses on martensitic phase transformation (MPT) in NixAl1-x and AlxCoyNi1-x-y alloys. New calculation methods were developed to predict diffusion coeffcients in metal as functions of temperature. Self-diffusion along screw and edge dislocations in aluminum was studied by molecular dynamic (MD) simulations. Three types of simulations were performed with and without (intrinsic) pre-existing vacancies and interstitials in the dislocation core. We found that the diffusion along the screw dislocation was dominated by the intrinsic mechanism, whereas the diffusion along the edge dislocation was dominated by the vacancy mechanism. The diffusion along the screw dislocation was found to be significantly faster than the diffusion along the edge dislocation, and the both diffusivities were in reasonable agreement with experimental data. The intrinsic diffusion mechanism can be associated with the formation of dynamic Frenkel pairs, possibly activated by thermal jogs and/or kinks. The simulations show that at high temperatures the dislocation core becomes an effective source/sink of point defects and the effect of pre-existing defects on the core diffusivity diminishes. First and the foremost ingredient needed in all atomistic computer simulations is the description of interaction between atoms. Interatomic potentials for Co, NiAl, CoAl and CoNi systems were developed within the Embedded Atom Method (EAM) formalism. The binary potentials were based on previously developed accurate potentials for pure Ni and pure Al and pure Co developed in this work. The binaries constitute a version of EAM potential of AlCoNi ternary system. The NiAl potential accurately reproduces a variety of physical properties of the B2-NiAl and L12-Ni3Al phases. The potential is expected to be especially suitable for simulations of hetero-phase interfaces and mechanical behavior of NiAl alloys. Apart from properties of the HCP Co, the new Co potential is accurate enough to reproduce several properties of the FCC Co which were not included in the potential fit. It shows good transferability property. The CoAl potential was fitted to the properties of B2-CoAl phase as in the NiAl fitting where as the NiCo potential was fitted to the ab initio formation energies of some imaginary phases and structures. Effect of chemical composition and uniaxial mechanical stresses was studied on the martensitic phase transformation in B2 type Ni-rich NiAl and AlCoNi alloys. The martensitic phase has a tetragonal crystal structure and can contain multiple twins arranged in domains and plates. The twinned martensites were always formed under the uniaxial compression where as the single variant martensites were the results of the uniaxial tension. The transformation was reversible and characterized by a significant temperature hysteresis. The magnitude of the hysteresis depends on the chemical composition and stress.



Dislocation Diffusion, Ni-Al-Co System, EAM Potentials, MPT in NiAl, Martensitic Transformation, Phase Transformation