Silver Hardening via Hypersonic Impacts.
The search for new ultra strong materials has been a very active research area. With relation to metals, a successful way to improve their strength is by the creation of a gradient of nanograins (GNG) inside the material. Recently, R. Thevamaran et al. [Science v354, 312-316 (2016)] propose a single step method based on high velocity impact of silver nanocubes to produce high-quality GNG. This method consists of producing high impact collisions of silver cubes at hypersonic velocity (~400 m/s) against a rigid wall. Although they observed an improvement in the mechanical properties of the silver after the impact, the GNG creation and the strengthening mechanism at nanoscale remain unclear. In order to gain further insights about these mechanisms, we carried out fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations (MD) to investigate the atomic conformations/rearrangements during and after high impact collisions of silver nanocubes at ultrasonic velocity. Our results indicate the co-existence of polycrystalline arrangements after the impact formed by core HCP domains surrounded by FCC ones, which could also contribute to explain the structural hardening.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.04780
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