Nucleation mechanism for hcp→bcc phase transformation in shock compressed Zr

Hongxiang Zong, Xiangdong Ding, Graeme Ackland

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We present large-scale atomic simulations of shock induced phase transition in Zr assisted by machine learning method. The results indicate that there exists a critical piston velocity of Up ~ 0.85 km/s, above which the product phase has changed from ω to bcc. Unlike the case in Fe, the shock induced hcp→bcc nucleation mechanism in hcp-Zr single-crystal shows significant dependence of crystal orientation. For shock along [1010] direction, the hcp phase directly transforms into bcc as expected. However, for shock compression along [0001] and [1210] directions, the hcp→bcc transformation occurs in quite a different manner, i.e., Zr single crystal transforms into a disordered intermediate that subsequently exhibits ultrafast crystallization of
bcc phase within the timescales of sub-nanosecond. We associate such presence of disordered intermediate structure with the sluggishness of shear stress relaxation, which leads to an elastic unstable condition of the crystal during the first few picoseconds of uniaxial compression, and suggests that the fewer possible shear planes (related to Burgers mechanism) for [0001] and [1210] shock loading is an underlying factor for the orientation dependence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number144105
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2020


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