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Title:Microscale mechanical characterization of materials for extreme environments
Author(s):Ozerinc, Sezer
Director of Research:King, William P.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):King, William P.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Averback, Robert S.; Bellon, Pascal; Chasiotis, Ioannis
Department / Program:Mechanical Sci & Engineering
Discipline:Mechanical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):mechanical characterization
microstructural characterization
in situ testing
nanoindentation
micropillar compression
grain boundary strengthening
irradiation induced creep
nanocrystalline materials
amorphous materials
Abstract:Nanocrystalline metals are promising materials for applications that require outstanding strength and stability in extreme environments. Further improvements in the desirable mechanical properties of these materials require a better understanding of the relationship between their microstructure and grain boundary deformation behavior. Previous molecular dynamics simulations suggested that solute additions to grain boundaries can enhance the strength of nanocrystalline metals, but there has been a lack of experimental studies investigating this prediction. This dissertation presents mechanical and microstructural characterization of nanocrystalline Cu alloys and demonstrate that addition of Nb solutes to grain boundaries greatly enhances the strength of Cu. The measured hardness of Cu90Nb10 alloy is 5.6 GPa which is more than double the hardness of nanocrystalline pure Cu. Microstructural characterization through transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy on these alloys indicates a strong correlation between the grain boundary composition and the hardness. Variation of measured hardness with measured grain boundary composition is in very good agreement with previous molecular dynamics simulation predictions. The results of this work provide experimental evidence that grain boundary doping enhances the strength of nanocrystalline Cu far beyond that predicted by classical Hall-Petch strengthening and decreasing grain boundary energy through solute additions is the key to reaching theoretical strength in nanocrystalline metals. Irradiation induced creep is a deformation mechanism that takes place under combined stress and particle bombardment. Effective characterization of this phenomenon on nanostructured materials is crucial for the assessment of their potential use in next generation nuclear power plants. Direct measurements of irradiation induced creep under MeV-heavy ion bombardment have not been feasible until recently due to the requirements of micron-sized specimens, μN-level force sensitivity, and nm-level displacement sensitivity. A recently developed mechanical characterization technique, micropillar compression, has enabled the testing of miniaturized specimens; however, there has been no demonstration of the application of this technique to irradiation induced creep measurements. This dissertation presents the development of an in situ measurement apparatus for compression testing of micron-sized cylindrical specimens under MeV-heavy ion bombardment. The apparatus has a force resolution of 1 μN and a displacement resolution of 1 nm. The apparatus measured irradiation induced creep in four different amorphous materials and the findings clarified the significance of different creep mechanisms in these materials. In amorphous metals and amorphous Si, the measured irradiation induced fluidity is ≈ 3 dpa-1GPa-1 (dpa: displacements per atom). The measured fluidity is in excellent agreement with previous molecular dynamics simulation predictions, providing experimental evidence for point defect mediated plastic flow under ion bombardment. For amorphous SiO2, stress relaxation through thermal spikes further contribute to the creep response, resulting in higher fluidities up to ≈ 83 dpa-1GPa-1. Finally, this dissertation presents the further development of the creep testing apparatus for high temperature measurements. The apparatus demonstrated good thermal and mechanical stability and measured irradiation induced creep of nanocrystalline Cu at 200°C. Resulting irradiation induced fluidity is ≈ 10% of the fluidity of the amorphous metals, in agreement with previous measurements on free-standing films. Understanding the creep behavior of nanostructured metals under heavy ion bombardment at elevated temperatures is important for identifying the governing creep mechanisms in these materials. The developed apparatus provides a new and effective method of accelerated mechanical characterization of such promising materials for their potential use in future nuclear applications.
Issue Date:2015-07-15
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/88017
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Sezer Ozerinc
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201


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