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Unraveling the Role of Interfaces on the Spall Failure of Cu/Ta Multilayered Systems


Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are carried out to investigate the effects of the type and spacing of FCC/BCC interfaces on the deformation and spall behavior. The simulations are carried out using model Cu/Ta multilayers with six different types of interfaces. The results suggest that interface type can significantly affect the structure and intensity of the incoming shock wave, change the activated slip systems, alter dislocation slip and twinning behavior, affect where and how voids are nucleated during spallation and the resulting spall strength. Moreover, the above aspects are significantly affected by the interface spacing. A transition from homogeneous to heterogeneous dislocation nucleation occurs as the interface spacing is decreased to 6 nm. Depending on interface type and spacing, damage (voids) nucleation and spall failure is observed to occur not only at the Cu/Ta interfaces, but also in the weaker Cu layer interior, or even in the stronger Ta layer interior, although different mechanisms underlie each of these three distinct failure modes. These findings point to the fact that, depending on the combination of interface type and spacing, interfaces can lead to both strengthening and weakening of the Cu/Ta multilayered microstructures.

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