Plasticity Induced by Shock Waves in Nonequilibrium Molecular-Dynamics Simulations

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Science  26 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5372, pp. 2085-2088
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5372.2085

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Nonequilibrium molecular-dynamics simulations of shock waves in three-dimensional 10-million atom face-centered cubic crystals with cross-sectional dimensions of 100 by 100 unit cells show that the system slips along all of the available {111} slip planes, in different places along the nonplanar shock front. Comparison of these simulations with earlier ones on a smaller scale not only eliminates the possibility that the observed slippage is an artifact of transverse periodic boundary conditions, but also reveals the richness of the nanostructure left behind. By introducing a piston face that is no longer perfectly flat, mimicking a line or surface inhomogeneity in the unshocked material, it is shown that for weaker shock waves (below the perfect-crystal yield strength), stacking faults can be nucleated by preexisting extended defects.

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