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Published September 16, 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Nanovoid nucleation by vacancy aggregation and vacancy-cluster coarsening in high-purity metallic single crystals


A numerical model to estimate critical times required for nanovoid nucleation in high-purity aluminum single crystals subjected to shock loading is presented. We regard a nanovoid to be nucleated when it attains a size sufficient for subsequent growth by dislocation-mediated plasticity. Nucleation is assumed to proceed by means of diffusion-mediated vacancy aggregation and subsequent vacancy cluster coarsening. Nucleation times are computed by a combination of lattice kinetic Monte Carlo simulations and simple estimates of nanovoid cavitation pressures and vacancy concentrations. The domain of validity of the model is established by considering rate-limiting physical processes and theoretical strength limits. The computed nucleation times are compared to experiments suggesting that vacancy aggregation and cluster coarsening are feasible mechanisms of nanovoid nucleation in a specific subdomain of the pressure-strain rate-temperature space.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Physical Society. Received 8 March 2011; revised 22 June 2011; published 16 September 2011. The authors gratefully acknowledge the discussions with V. Gavini, S. Serebrinsky, D. C. Swift, and J. McNaney, as well as Enrique Martinez, author of the parallel LKMC code used in the calculations. Support for this study was provided by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Award No. DE-FC52-08NA28613 through Caltech's ASC/PSAAP Center for the Predictive Modeling and Simulation of High Energy Density Dynamic Response of Materials. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344.

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