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Ab initio calculation of H interactions with defects in fcc metals : crack tip dislocations and vacancies

Wang, Yu. Ab initio calculation of H interactions with defects in fcc metals : crack tip dislocations and vacancies. PhD, Science et Génie des Matériaux, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2014

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Official URL: http://ethesis.inp-toulouse.fr/archive/00002911/


In many technological applications of structured metallic alloys, hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a major concern as it can penetrate in most metals, degrade their properties and lead to premature failures. Despite numerous efforts in the past decades during which many microscopic mechanisms were proposed, a clear understanding of H embrittlement mechanisms has not been achieved yet. Since HE processes occur on an atomic-scale, the exact mechanisms leading to HE are not easily identified experimentally. One possible improvement would be to use atomic-scale simulations to try to capture details of deformation and fracture processes at the atomic level, enabling the investigation of relevant microscopic mechanism. In such context, the goal of this PhD work is to understand and quantify H interactions with defects like vacancies, dislocations and cracks in fcc metals through multi-scale modeling. The study is organized in four main parts. In the first part, we employed first principle calculations (based on density functional theory) to describe H interaction with a vacancy in Nickel. More specifically, the segregation energies of multiple H atoms in a single and di-vacancies were computed. Two characteristic energies were found which clarify the experimental peaks observed in Thermal Desorption Spectra in the literature. The equilibrium concentrations of H-vacancy clusters was then evaluated, under conditions relevant to HE and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) of Ni based alloys (nuclear industry),by Monte Carlo simulations and a thermodynamic model developed from our DFT data. In the second part, we quantified the trapping effect of vacancies on H diffusion in Nickel. With DFT computed jump barriers, related to H trapping and detrapping in vacancies, we employed accelerated Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations to evaluate the H diffusion coefficient as a function of vacancy concentration and temperature. In the third part, we studied the diffusion of H-vacancy clusters in Ni, based on the combination of DFT and a statistical method. DFT calculations of vacancy jump barriers were performed for clusters containing from one to six H inside the vacancy. With these computed barriers and previous calculated concentrations of H-vacancy clusters, a simple stochastic model similar to the KMC procedure was developed to estimate the diffusion coefficient of H-vacancy clusters as a function of H concentration and temperature. In the last part, we studied the interaction of hydrogen with a blunted crack tip in Aluminum by combined EAM (semi-empirical interatomic potential) and DFT calculations. Embedded atom method (EAM) potential simulations were performed to evaluate the H effect on dislocation emission from a blunted crack tip under mixed mode loading. This phenomenon can be understood by the H induced change of the unstable stacking fault energy (γus ) in Rice’s model. Therefore, DFT and EAM calculations of γus were performed including the effects of H and of the mixed mode loads. It is shown that the effect of the load perpendicular to the glide plane is very strong, contrary to the effect of sub-surface H, which is negligible

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Research Director:
Andrieu, Eric and Tanguy, Dôme
Deposited On:07 Dec 2015 12:00

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