The size dependent strength of Fe, Nb and V micropillars at room and low temperature

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The strength of focussed ion beam (FIB) machined [001] orientation single crystal micropillars of body centred cubic structured (bcc) metals Fe, Nb and V, with diameters 200 – 5000 nm, have been measured at 296 K and 193 K using nanoindentation equipment. The metals have similar critical temperatures for screw dislocation mobility, Tc, close to 350 K. All three metals deform on the (110) plane at both test temperatures and show very similar behaviour of the plastic flow stress, σp, normalised by the shear modulus resolved on the slip plane, μ, as a function of pillar diameter, d, normalised by the Burgers vector, b. At room temperature all metals show a size effect on strength described by power law relation with n ≈ -0.6 and this is shown to mirror the behaviour of face centred cubic metals. At 193 K the three metals show a higher strength and larger size exponent n ≈ -0.3 and again their normalised flow data is very similar. The behaviour is consistent with the observation that the deformation size effect in bcc materials converges to that seen with face centred cubic (fcc) structure metals as testing temperature approaches Tc. The temperature and size dependence of the experimental data shows similarity with the prediction of strength models based on the geometric cofinement of dislocation sources (the single dislocation arm model) and a temperature dependent friction stress. However the model cannot consistently capture the behaviour for the three metals studied.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100424
JournalActa Materialia
Early online date2 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2019

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