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Research
 
Dynamic Embrittlement of Structural Alloys
 
While metals and alloys have been extensively studied for a number of decades, the design of newer and improved alloy systems with superior properties continues to provide research opportunities. This assumes particular significance because the spectre of impurity content looms large in the context of increased recycling of materials, which is an important part of protecting global environment. In this regard, dynamic embrittlement associated with bulk impurities or low melting point elements is increasingly significant as our reliance on recycled metals and alloy increases. Dynamic embrittlement in a generic sense is diffusion-controlled decohesion of grain boundaries, caused by the ingress of surface adsorbed elements (e.g., S, O, Sn) under the influence of stress. It has connections to phenomena such as stress corrosion cracking, liquid metal embrittlement, and hydrogen embrittlement. In sequel to rationalizing the kinetic/thermodynamic effects of applied stress, the aspects of current research are: (a) the flow stress dependence on dynamic embrittlement, (b) the full geometric character of grain boundaries susceptible to dynamic embrittlement (lattice misorientation and boundary inclination), (c) stress-induced segregation and grain boundary stability, (d) stress relaxation and dislocation activity, and (e) evolution of surface deformation during dynamic embrittlement. The extent of surface disorder during dynamic embrittlement is being investigated by AFM to study deformation processes and define crack nucleation criteria.
 
 

Document last revised Wednesday, February 16, 2005 6:33 PM

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