The precision and crack-free surface of brittle silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic was achieved in the nanoscale ductile grinding. However, the nanoscale scratching mechanism and the root causes of SiC ductile response, especially in the atomistic aspects, have not been fully understood yet. In this study, the SiC atomistic scale scratching mechanism was investigated by single diamond grain scratching simulation based on molecular dynamics. The results indicated that the ductile scratching process of SiC could be achieved in the nanoscale depth of cut through the phase transition to an amorphous structure with few hexagonal diamond structure. Furthermore, the silicon atoms in SiC could penetrate into diamond grain which may cause wear of diamond grain. It was further found out that the chip material in the front of grain flowed along the grain side surface to form the groove protrusion as the scratching speed increases. The higher scratching speed promoted more atoms to transfer into the amorphous structure and reduced the hexagonal diamond and dislocation atoms number, which resulted in higher temperature, smaller scratching force, smaller normal stress, and thinner subsurface damage thickness, due to larger speed impaction causing more bonds broken which makes the SiC more ductile.
Liu, Y., Li, B., & Kong, L. (2018). Atomistic insights on the nanoscale single grain scratching mechanism of silicon carbide ceramic based on molecular dynamics simulation. AIP Advances, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5019683