The role of elastic and plastic anisotropy in intergranular spall failure
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2019 Acta Materialia Inc. Recent mesoscale experimental observations of dynamic ductile failure [1,2] have demonstrated a strong relationship between grain boundary (GB) misorientation and the likelihood of failure initiation along said GB. This correlation has been attributed to inherent GB weakness of particular misorientation. Here we discuss the role played by mechanics, i.e. elastic and plastic anisotropy, on the experimental observation [1,2]. We make use of a recently developed framework for modeling dislocation-based crystal plasticity and ductile failure of single crystals under dynamic loading (CPD-FE) . Polycrystals are studied at the mesoscale level through the explicit resolution of individual grains, i.e. resolving each individual grain's size, shape, and orientation. In our simulations, failure naturally localizes along the GBs with no necessity for ad hoc rules governing damage nucleation. We carry out a few thousand mesoscale calculations, systematically varying the misorientation angles of the GB in the computational microstructure. Despite the fact that we neglect the possibility of variations in inherent GB weakness, our simulations agree favorably with the experimental observations, implying that stress concentration generated by elastic and plastic anisotropies across GBs is a dominant governing factor in this phenomenon. Lastly, we find that misorientation angle is an insufficient GB descriptor to predict the likelihood of intergranular spall failure, which is better understood through the consideration of additional GB degrees of freedom.