Orientation-dependent crystal instability of gamma-TiAl in nanoindentation investigated by a multiscale interatomic potential finite-element model
The anisotropic mechanical behavior of γ-TiAl alloys has been observed and repeatedly reported, but the effect of crystallographic orientations on the crystal instability of γ-TiAl is still unclear. In this paper, the orientation-dependent crystal instability of γ-TiAl single crystals was investigated by performing nanoindentation on different crystal surfaces. All the nanoindentations are simulated using an interatomic potential finite-element model (IPFEM). Simulation results show that the load–displacement curves, critical indentation depth and critical load for crystal instability as well as indentation modulus, are all associated with surface orientations. The active slip systems and the location of crystal instability in five typical nanoindentations are analyzed in detail, i.e. the (0 0 1), (1 0 0), (1 0 1), (1 1 0) and (1 1 1) crystal surfaces. The predicted crystal instability sites and the activated slipping systems in the IPFEM simulations are in good agreement with the dislocation nucleation in molecular dynamics simulations.