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Strengthening due to Cr-rich precipitates in Fe–Cr alloys: Effect of temperature and precipitate composition

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3 Author(s)
Terentyev, D. ; SCK•CEN, Institute of Nuclear Materials Science, Boeretang 200, B2400 Mol, Belgium ; Hafez Haghighat, S.M. ; Schaublin, R.

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Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were carried out to study the interaction between nanometric Cr precipitates and a 1/2 <111>{110} edge dislocation (ED) in pure Fe and Fe-9 at. % Cr (Fe-9Cr) random alloy. The aim of this work is to estimate the variation in the pinning strength of the Cr precipitate as a function of temperature, its chemical composition and the matrix composition in which the precipitate is embedded. The dislocation was observed to shear Cr precipitates rather than by-pass via the formation of the Orowan loop, even though a pronounced screw dipole was emerged in the reactions with the precipitates of size larger than 4.5 nm. The screw arms of the formed dipole were not observed to climb thus no point defects were left inside the sheared precipitates, irrespective of simulation temperature. Both Cr solution and Cr precipitates, embedded in the Fe-9Cr matrix, were seen to contribute to the flow stress. The decrease in the flow stress with temperature in the alloy containing Cr precipitates is, therefore, related to the simultaneous change in the matrix friction stress, precipitate resistance, and dislocation flexibility. Critical stress estimated from MD simulations was seen to have a strong dependence on the precipitate composition. If the latter decreases from 95% down to 80%, the corresponding critical stress decreases almost as twice. The results presented here suggest a significant contribution to the flow stress due to the α-α separation, at least for EDs. The obtained data can be used to validate and to parameterize dislocation dynamics models, where the temperature dependence of the obstacle strength is an essential input data.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:107 ,  Issue: 6 )