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Acta Metall Sin  2019, Vol. 55 Issue (8): 1034-1040    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2019.00041
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Stress Relaxation and Elastic Recovery of Monocrystalline Cu Under Water Environment
Junqin SHI1,Kun SUN2,Liang FANG2,Shaofeng XU3()
1. Xi’an Rare Metal Materials Institute Co. , Ltd. , Xi’an 710016, China
2. State Key Laboratory for Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
3. Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, Ningbo 315000, China
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The stress relaxation and elastic recovery have an important effect on the mechanical and electrical properties of metallic crystal materials, which restricts the range of application and working life of materials. However, during plastic deformation of materials, the relaxation and elastic recovery behaviors are still not very clear at the nanoscale. In this work, the stress relaxation and elastic recovery of monocrystalline Cu under water environment is studied by molecular dynamics simulation. The results indicate the stress acting on Cu surface decreases at constant strain, meaning the occurrence of stress relaxation phenomenon. The stress relaxation increases with water film thickening compared with no-water environment. The separation between Cu atoms dramatically decreases with the increasing indentation depth at indenting stage, and there is no clear change in the nearest interatomic separation at stress relaxation stage, but the separation increases rapidly due to the release of elastic energy and dislocation energy at the unloading stage. The nucleated dislocations within Cu coated by water film are obviously more than that without water, which suggests the water film increases the unrecovered deformation in the total nanoindentation process. During unloading, partial dislocations disappear because of the deformation energy release, while the water film impedes the elastic recovery and plastic release.

Key words:  stress relaxation      elastic recovery      monocrystalline Cu      molecular dynamics     
Received:  20 February 2019     
ZTFLH:  TG14  
Fund: Young Scientists Fund of National Natural Science Foundation of China((No.51605432));Young Scientists Fund of the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province, China((No.LQ16E050007));Natural Science Foundation of Ningbo, China((No.2015A610097))
Corresponding Authors:  Shaofeng XU     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Junqin SHI,Kun SUN,Liang FANG,Shaofeng XU. Stress Relaxation and Elastic Recovery of Monocrystalline Cu Under Water Environment. Acta Metall Sin, 2019, 55(8): 1034-1040.

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Fig.1  The initial model of nanoindentation of monocrystalline copper under water environmentColor online

Atom pair





Cutoff distance
Table 1  Parameters for TIP4P and Lennard-Jones potential[30,31,32]
Fig.2  Schematic of displacement-controlled nano-indentation
Fig.3  Load-indentation depth curves of without (a), and with H=1.0 nm (b), 2.0 nm (c) and 3.0 nm (d) water films (H—water film thickness)
Fig.4  The nearest interatomic separation among Cu atoms in indenting region under different water environments
Fig.5  The slice configurations of monocrystalline copper before (orange) and after (blue) unloading of without (a), and with H=1.0 nm (b), 2.0 nm (c) and 3.0 nm (d) water filmsColor online
Fig.6  Default configurations within monocrystalline copper after loading (left), after stress relaxation (middle), and after unloading (right) of without (a), and with H=1.0 nm (b), 2.0 nm (c) and 3.0 nm (d) water films (blue—undeformed atom, red—surface and partial dislocation atom, green—stacking fault atom)Color online
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