Grain Boundaries as Heterogeneous Systems: Atomic and Continuum Elastic Properties
The relation between atomic structure and elastic properties of grain boundaries is investigated theoretically from both atomistic and continuum points of view. A heterogeneous continuum model of the boundary is introduced where distinct phases are associated with individual atoms and possess their atomic level elastic moduli determined from the discrete model. The effective elastic moduli for sub-blocks from an infinite bicrystal are then calculated for a relatively small number of atom layers above and below the grain boundary. These effective moduli can be determined exactly for the discrete atomistic model, while estimates from upper and lower bounds are evaluated in the framework of the continuum model. The complete fourth-order elastic modulus tensor is calculated for both the local and the effective properties. Comparison between the discrete atomistic results and those for the continuum model establishes the validity of this model and leads to criteria to assess the stability of a given grain boundary structure. For stable structures the continuum estimates of the effective moduli agree well with the exact effective moduli for the discrete model. Metastable and unstable structures are associated with a significant fraction of atoms (phases) for which the atomic-level moduli lose positive definiteness or even strong ellipticity. In those cases, the agreement between the effective moduli of the discrete and continuum systems breaks down.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series A
- Pub Date:
- June 1992