Open Access Nano Express

Study of Materials Deformation in Nanometric Cutting by Large-scale Molecular Dynamics Simulations

QX Pei*, C Lu, HP Lee and YW Zhang

Author Affiliations

Institute of High Performance Computing, 1 Fusionopolis Way, Singapore, 138632, Singapore

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 4:444-451  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9268-z

Published: 18 February 2009

Abstract

Nanometric cutting involves materials removal and deformation evolution in the surface at nanometer scale. At this length scale, atomistic simulation is a very useful tool to study the cutting process. In this study, large-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with the model size up to 10 millions atoms have been performed to study three-dimensional nanometric cutting of copper. The EAM potential and Morse potential are used, respectively, to compute the interaction between workpiece atoms and the interactions between workpiece atoms and tool atoms. The material behavior, surface and subsurface deformation, dislocation movement, and cutting forces during the cutting processes are studied. We show that the MD simulation model of nanometric cutting has to be large enough to eliminate the boundary effect. Moreover, the cutting speed and the cutting depth have to be considered in determining a suitable model size for the MD simulations. We have observed that the nanometric cutting process is accompanied with complex material deformation, dislocation formation, and movement. We find that as the cutting depth decreases, the tangential cutting force decreases faster than the normal cutting force. The simulation results reveal that as the cutting depth decreases, the specific cutting force increases, i.e., “size effect” exists in nanometric cutting.

Keywords:
Molecular dynamics; Nanometric cutting; Materials deformation; Large-scale simulation