The atomic-scale yielding mechanisms of body centered cubic (BCC) iron in supercritical water have been an elusive problem that requires understanding the roles of chemical reactions with supercritical water in the mechanical behavior of iron. This work shows the combined effect of the supercritical water and tensile direction on the yielding mechanism of BCC iron using reactive molecular dynamics simulations. Our simulation results show that tensile strain along the [11¯0] direction of BCC iron may potentially exhibit much higher tensile strength and lower sensitivity to the environment compared with other directions. This is because yielding of iron along the [11¯0] direction originates from the homogenous generation of HCP precursors inside the iron bulk rather than at the surface, which limits the effects of surficial chemical reactions with supercritical water on the yielding behavior. This work is expected to contribute to the theoretical design of high-strength alloys in supercritical water.
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