Many electrically assisted processes have been reported to induce changes in microstructure and metal plasticity. To understand the physics-based mechanisms behind these interesting phenomena, however, requires an understanding of the interaction between the electric current and heterogeneous microstructure. In this work, multiscale modeling of the electric current flow in a nanocrystalline material is reported. The cellular automata method was used to track the nanoscale grain boundaries in the matrix. Maxwell's electromagnetic equations were solved to obtain the electrical potential distribution at the macro scale. Kirchhoff's circuit equation was solved to obtain the electric current flow at the micro/nano scale. The electric current distribution at two representative locations was investigated. A significant electric current concentration was observed near the grain boundaries, particularly near the triple junctions. This higher localized electric current leads to localized resistive heating near the grain boundaries. The electric current distribution could be used to obtain critical information such as localized resistive heating rate and extra system free energy, which are critical for explaining many interesting phenomena, including microstructure evolution and plasticity enhancement in many electrically assisted processes.
Multiscale modeling of localized resistive heating in nanocrystalline metals subjected to electropulsing
Jingyi Zhao, G.-X. Wang, Yalin Dong, Chang Ye; Multiscale modeling of localized resistive heating in nanocrystalline metals subjected to electropulsing. J. Appl. Phys. 28 August 2017; 122 (8): 085101. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4998938
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