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  1. Abstract

    SPPARKS is an open-source parallel simulation code for developing and running various kinds of on-lattice Monte Carlo models at the atomic or meso scales. It can be used to study the properties of solid-state materials as well as model their dynamic evolution during processing. The modular nature of the code allows new models and diagnostic computations to be added without modification to its core functionality, including its parallel algorithms. A variety of models for microstructural evolution (grain growth), solid-state diffusion, thin film deposition, and additive manufacturing (AM) processes are included in the code. SPPARKS can also be used to implement grid-based algorithms such as phase field or cellular automata models, to run either in tandem with a Monte Carlo method or independently. For very large systems such as AM applications, the Stitch I/O library is included, which enables only a small portion of a huge system to be resident in memory. In this paper we describe SPPARKS and its parallel algorithms and performance, explain how new Monte Carlo models can be added, and highlight a variety of applications which have been developed within the code.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  3. Abstract We briefly compare the structure of two classes of popular models used to describe poro-mechanics and chemo-mechanics, wherein a fluid phase is transported within a solid phase. The multiplicative deformation decomposition has been successfully used to model permanent inelastic shape change in plasticity, solid–solid phase transformation, and thermal expansion, which has motivated its application to poro-mechanics and chemo-mechanics. However, the energetic decomposition provides a more transparent structure and advantages, such as to couple to phase-field fracture, for models of poro-mechanics and chemo-mechanics. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  5. Grain boundaries in polycrystalline materials migrate to reduce the total excess energy. It has recently been found that the factors governing migration rates of boundaries in bicrystals are insufficient to explain boundary migration in polycrystals. We first review our current understanding of the atomistic mechanisms of grain boundary migration based on simulations and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy observations. We then review our current understanding at the continuum scale based on simulations and observations using high-energy diffraction microscopy. We conclude that detailed comparisons of experimental observations with atomistic simulations of migration in polycrystals (rather than bicrystals) are required to better understand the mechanisms of grain boundary migration, that the driving force for grain boundary migration in polycrystals must include factors other than curvature, and that current simulations of grain growth are insufficient for reproducing experimental observations, possibly because of an inadequate representation of the driving force.

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  6. If variety is the spice of life, then abnormal grain growth (AGG) may be the materials processing equivalent of sriracha sauce. Abnormally growing grains can be prismatic, dendritic, or practically any shape in between. When they grow at least an order of magnitude larger than their neighbors in the matrix—a state we call extreme AGG—we can examine the abnormal/matrix interface for clues to the underlying mechanism. Simulating AGG for various formulations of the grain boundary (GB) equation of motion, we show that anisotropies in GB mobility and energy leave a characteristic fingerprint in the abnormal/matrix boundary. Except in the case of prismatic growth, the morphological signature of most reported instances of AGG is consistent with a certain degree of GB mobility variability. Open questions remain, however, concerning the mechanism by which the corresponding growth advantage is established and maintained as the GBs of abnormal grains advance through the matrix. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Materials Research, Volume 53 is July 2023. Please see for revised estimates. 
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