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Effect Of Domain Size, Boundary, And Loading Conditions On Mechanical Properties Of Amorphous Silica: A Reactive Molecular Dynamics Study

Truong Vo, Brett Reeder, A. Damone, P. Newell
Published 2019 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Mechanical properties are very important when choosing a material for a specific application. They help to determine the range of usefulness of a material, establish the service life, and classify and identify materials. The size effect on mechanical properties has been well established numerically and experimentally. However, the role of the size effect combined with boundary and loading conditions on mechanical properties remains unknown. In this paper, by using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with the state-of-the-art ReaxFF force field, we study mechanical properties of amorphous silica (e.g., Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio) as a function of domain size, full-/semi-periodic boundary condition, and tensile/compressive loading. We found that the domain-size effect on Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio is much more significant in semi-periodic domains compared to full-periodic domains. The results, for the first time, revealed the bimodular and anisotropic nature of amorphous silica at the atomic level. We also defined a “safe zone” regarding the domain size, where the bulk properties of amorphous silica can be reproducible, while the computational cost and accuracy are in balance.
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