Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Plastic Deformation of Diamond at an Elevated Temperature
Single point diamond tools are commonly used for ultraprecision machining. At high cutting speeds, frictional contact and local heat may cause material damage to the diamond tool. The diamond crystal is softened and its mechanical strength decreases with the increase in temperature. Plastic deformation of diamonds was recently reported in some experimental studies. In this work, a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was implemented to predict the deformation of single crystal diamond at various temperatures. Diamond is brittle at room temperature, however, it starts to exhibit plastic dislocation at a temperature above 1200 K under a confining pressure. The condition in ultraprecision machining is indeed a temperature gradient distribution at the tool tip, between the maximum temperature at the tool-workpiece interface and the average temperature at the core. The simulation results predicted that diamond deformed plastically under the gradient between 1500K and 860K. It is surprising that secondary cracks were resulted from the gradient, as comparing to a single slip obtained in an evenly distributed temperature. Bond dissociation nucleated the fractures along the (111) shuffle planes, perfect dislocation merely occurred in the hot zone and sp3-to-sp2 disorder at the cool zone. The temperature gradient created a lattice mismatch and nucleated the secondary cracks. The results give an insight that a catastrophic fracture and local material damage can occur at a diamond tool tip at the cutting temperature above 1200 K, due to softening and graphitization.
Yeong-Maw Hwang and Cho-Pei Jiang
K.Y. Fung et al., "Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Plastic Deformation of Diamond at an Elevated Temperature", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 626, pp. 329-333, 2015