Phase Field Modeling of Twinning in Indentation of Transparent Crystals

Report No. ARL-RP-340
Authors: J. D. Clayton; J. Knap
Date/Pages: September 2011; 38 pages
Abstract: Continuum phase field theory is applied to study elastic twinning in calcite and sapphire single crystals subjected to indentation loading by wedge-shaped indenters. An order parameter is associated with the magnitude of stress-free twinning shear. Geometrically linear and nonlinear theories are implemented and compared, the latter incorporating neo-Hookean elasticity. Equilibrium configurations of deformed and twinned crystals are attained numerically via direct energy minimization. Results are in qualitative agreement with experimental observations: a long thin twin forms asymmetrically under one side of the indenter, the tip of the twin is sharp and the length of the twin increases with increasing load. Qualitatively similar results are obtained using isotropic and anisotropic elastic constants, though the difference between isotropic and anisotropic results is greater in sapphire than in calcite. Similar results are also obtained for nanometer-scale specimens and millimeter-scale specimens. Indentation forces are greater in the nonlinear model than the linear model because of the increasing tangent bulk modulus with increasing pressure in the former. Normalized relationships between twin length and indentation force are similar for linear and nonlinear theories at both nanometer and millimeter scales. Twin morphologies are similar for linear and nonlinear theories for indentation with a 90° wedge. However, in the nonlinear model, indentation with a 120° wedge produces a lamellar twin structure between the indenter and the long sharp primary twin. This complex microstructure is not predicted by the linear theory.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2011