Fatigue damage in nickel and copper single crystals at nanoscale

G. P. Potirniche*, M. F. Horstemeyer, B. Jelinek, G. J. Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Nanoscale fatigue damage simulations using molecular dynamics were performed in nickel and copper single crystals. Cyclic stress-strain curves and fatigue crack growth were investigated using a middle-tension (MT) specimen with the lateral sides allowing periodic boundary conditions to simulate a small region of material as a part of a larger component. The specimen dimensions were in the range of nanometers, and the fatigue loading was strain controlled under constant and variable amplitude. Four crystal orientations, [111], [100], [110] and [101] were analyzed, and the results indicated that the plastic deformation and fatigue crack growth rates vary widely from one orientation to another. Under increasing strain amplitude loading, nickel nanocrystals experienced a large amount of plastic deformation causing at least in one orientation, [101], out-of-plane crack deviation in a mixed mode I+ II growth. Under constant amplitude loading, the fatigue cracks were a planar mode I type. Double slip is observed for some orientations, while for others, many more slip systems were activated causing a more evenly distributed plastic region around the crack tip. A comparative analysis revealed that small cracks grow more rapidly in copper than in nickel single crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1185
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Fatigue
Issue number10-12
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005
EventFatigue Damage of Structural Materials V -
Duration: Sep 19 2004Sep 24 2004


  • Copper
  • Fatigue crack growth
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Nickel
  • Persistent slip bands
  • Single crystal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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