Acta mater. 124, 195-203, 2017


C. Kirchlechner1,2, F. Toth3, F.G. Rammerstorfer3, F.D. Fischer4 and G. Dehm1

1Max-Planck Institut für Eisenforschung,
Düsseldorf, Germany
2Department of Material Physics,
Montanuniversität Leoben, Leoben, Austria
3Institute of Lightweight Design and Structural Biomechanics,
TU Wien, Vienna, Austria
4Institute of Mechanics,
Montanuniversität Leoben, Leoben, Austria
5Erich Schmid Institute for Materials Science,
Leoben, Austria

Abstract - Compression of micropillars is routinely used to measure the material response under uniaxial load. In bi-crystalline pillars an S-shaped grain-boundary together with an S-shaped pillar is often observed after deformation raising the question of its origin and consequences for stress-strain materials data. In addition to dislocation and grain-boundary based mechanisms, this observation can be caused by buckling and subsequent post-buckling deformation. Deviations from the classical pre- and post-buckling deformation behavior are assigned to imperfections, which are categorized in extrinsic and intrinsic imperfections in this work. In the present paper, the S-shaped actual deformation state is particularly promoted by an intrinsic imperfection, caused by a material heterogeneity (due to the bi-crystal arrangement). This kind of deformation behavior is investigated by micro-compression experiments on 7 x 7 x 21 μm3 sized bi-crystal copper pillars with nearly elastic (axial Young's modulus) homogeneity and identical Schmid factors for both grain orientations. Complementary finite element simulations are performed, in which also the role of friction and of an extrinsic imperfection in the form of initial misalignment of the loading on the S-shape are considered. There, a material model describing the flow stress distribution caused by a dislocation pile-up at the grain-boundary is applied. Finally, suggestions to prevent buckling and, thus, transversal post-buckling displacements during micropillar compression tests are given with the goal to extract engineering stress-strain curves.