On the failure of NiAl bicrystals during laser-induced shock compression

Eric Loomis, Damian Swift, Pedro Peralta, Ken McClellan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Thin NiAl bicrystals 5 mm in diameter and 150-350 μm thick were tested under laser-induced shock compression to evaluate the material behavior and the effect of localized strain at the grain boundary on the failure of these specimens. Circular NiAl bicrystal samples with random misorientation were grown using a modified Czochralski technique and samples were prepared for shock compression at moderate pressures (<10 GPa). The observed crack patterns on the drive surface as well as the free surface were examined using optical microscopy. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the drive surface as well as in the bulk of one grain was performed on recovered specimens following shock compression. This revealed that a nanocrystalline region with a grain size of 15-20 nm formed on a thin layer at the drive surface following the plasma expansion phase of the laser-induced shock. TEM in the bulk of one grain showed that plastic deformation occurred in a periodic fashion through propagation of dislocation clusters. Cracking on the free surface of the samples revealed a clear grain boundary affected zone (GBAZ) due to scattering of the shock wave and variations in wave speed across the inclined boundary. Damage tended to accumulate in the grain into which the elastic wave refracted. This damage accumulation corresponds well to the regions in which the transmitted waves impinged on the free surface as predicted by elastic scattering models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 15 2005


  • Bicrystals
  • Compression
  • Elastic wave
  • Grain boundary
  • Laser-shock
  • Nickel-aluminide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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