Scaling of slip avalanches in sheared amorphous materials based on large-scale atomistic simulations

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Atomistic simulations of binary amorphous systems with over 4 million atoms are performed. Systems of two interatomic potentials of the Lennard-Jones type, LJ12-6 and LJ9-6, are simulated. The athermal quasistatic shearing protocol is adopted, where the shear strain is applied in a stepwise fashion with each step followed by energy minimization. For each avalanche event, the shear stress drop (Δσ), the hydrostatic pressure drop (Δσh), and the potential energy drop (ΔE) are computed. It is found that, with the avalanche size increasing, the three become proportional to each other asymptotically. The probability distributions of avalanche sizes are obtained and values of scaling exponents fitted. In particular, the distributions follow a power law, PΔU∼ΔU-τ, where ΔU is a measure of avalanche sizes defined based on shear stress drops. The exponent τ is 1.25±0.1 for the LJ12-6 systems, and 1.15±0.1 for the LJ9-6 systems. The value of τ for the LJ12-6 systems is consistent with that from an earlier atomistic simulation study by Robbins [Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 105703 (2012)]PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.109.105703, but the fitted values of other scaling exponents differ, which may be because the shearing protocol used here differs from that in their study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032902
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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