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Intrinsic fracture behavior of Mg–Y alloys

Eleanor Mak1*, William Curtin1*

1 Laboratory for Multiscale Mechanics Modeling, Institute of Mechanical Engineering, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland

* Corresponding authors emails: eleanor.mak@epfl.ch, william.curtin@epfl.ch
DOI10.24435/materialscloud:nk-xk [version v1]

Publication date: Oct 28, 2021

How to cite this record

Eleanor Mak, William Curtin, Intrinsic fracture behavior of Mg–Y alloys, Materials Cloud Archive 2021.177 (2021), doi: 10.24435/materialscloud:nk-xk.


Pure magnesium (Mg) is an attractive metal for structural applications due to its low density, but also has low ductility and low fracture toughness. Dilute alloying of Mg with rare earth elements in small amounts improves the ductility, but the effects of alloying on fracture are not well-established. Here, the intrinsic fracture of a model Mg-3at%Y solid solution alloy is studied using a combination of anisotropic linear elastic fracture mechanics and atomistic simulations applied to a comprehensive set of crack configurations under mode I loading. The competition between brittle cleavage and ductile dislocation emission at the crack tip in Mg is improved slightly by alloying, because local fluctuations of the random solutes enable dislocation emission rather than cleavage fracture for a number of configurations where the differences in critical load for cleavage and emission are small. However, basalplane cleavage remains strongly preferred, as in pure Mg. The alloys do show higher fracture toughness for all configurations due to local solute-induced deformation phenomena at the crack tip. Thus, alloying with Y is expected to improve the fracture toughness of Mg, but the persistence of basal cleavage prevents the alloy from becoming intrinsically ductile for all orientations.

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File name Size Description
30.7 MiB This dataset contains assorted input files to perform crack simulations in LAMMPS for various crack orientations.
370 Bytes Brief description of the contents of crack.tar.gz


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magnesium alloy fracture molecular dynamics simulation SNSF

Version history:

2021.177 (version v1) [This version] Oct 28, 2021 DOI10.24435/materialscloud:nk-xk