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Nanoindentation simulations for large atomic systems : an analysis of molecular dynamics and bridged finite element - molecular dynamics methodologies

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posted on 24.05.2021, 07:13 by Jonathan Vandersluis
This thesis develops a molecular dynamics (MD) custom made computational tool to perform nanoindentation simulations on copper nanomaterials, a Face Centred Cubic (FCC) metal. The Embedding Atom Method (EAM) is used to model the interatomic forces with the substrate. Further, a bridged finite element - molecular dynamics (FE-MD) simulation tool is also adapted to perform nanoindentation experimentation. Using this bridged FE-MD simulation tool, nanoindentations are performed much more effectively than the MD simulations while saving substantial computational simulation time. While the MD simulation experienced difficulties capturing the behaviour of the system during indentation especially at faster indentation speeds, the bridged FE-MD method is capable of reaching a state of equilibrium within a single step for each indentation depth interval analyzed throughout the nanoindentation. Although the hardness values for these simulations cannot be obtained without larger scale simulations using more powerful computational resources, the simulations provide insight into the behaviour of the copper nanomaterial during nanoindentation. As a result, it is clear that the bridged FE-MD nanoindentation tool is much more effective for executing nanoindentation simulations than the traditional MD methodologies.





Master of Applied Science


Aerospace Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Kamran Behdinan