Modeling the evolution of representative dislocation structures under high thermo-mechanical conditions during Additive Manufacturing of Alloys

Jaafar El-Awady
Johns Hopkins University

Mesoscale simulations of discrete defects in metals provide an ideal framework to investigate the micro-scale mechanisms governing the plastic deformation under high thermal and mechanical loading conditions. To bridge size and time-scale while limiting computational effort, typically the concept of representative volume elements (RVEs) is employed. This approach considers the microstructure evolution in a volume that is representative of the overall material behavior. However, in settings with complex thermal and mechanical loading histories careful consideration of the impact of modeling constraints in terms of time scale and simulation domain on predicted results is required. We address the representation of heterogeneous dislocation structure formation in simulation volumes using the example of residual stress formation during cool-down of laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) of AISI 316L stainless steel. This is achieved by a series of large-scale three-dimensional discrete dislocation dynamics (DDD) simulations assisted by thermo-mechanical finite element modeling of the LPBF process. Our results show that insufficient size of periodic simulation domains can result in dislocation patterns that reflect the boundaries of the primary cell. More pronounced dislocation interaction observed for larger domains highlight the significance of simulation domain constraints for predicting mechanical properties. We formulate criteria that characterize representative volume elements by capturing the conformity of the dislocation structure to the bulk material. This work provides a basis for future investigations of heterogeneous microstructure formation in mesoscale simulations of bulk material behavior.

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