Effect of Grain Size on the Fracture Toughness of Bimodal Nanocrystalline Materials
To research the effect of grain size on the fracture toughness of bimodal nanocrystalline (BNC) materials which are composed of nanocrystalline (NC) matrix and coarse grains, we have developed a theoretical model to study the critical stress intensity factor (which characterizes toughness) of BNC materials by considering a typical case where crack lies at the interface of two neighboring NC grains and the crack tip intersect at the grain boundary of the coarse grain, the cohesive zone size is assumed to be equal to the grain size d of the NC matrix. Blunting and propagating processes of the crack is controlled by a combined effect of dislocation and cohesive zone. Edge dislocations emit from the cohesive crack tip and make a shielding effect on the crack. It was found that the critical stress intensity factor increases with the increasing of grain size d of the NC matrix as well as the coarse grain size D. Moreover, the fracture toughness is relatively more sensitive to the coarse grain size rather than that of NC matrix.
Y. G. Liu et al., "Effect of Grain Size on the Fracture Toughness of Bimodal Nanocrystalline Materials", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 936, pp. 400-408, 2014