Since the classical molecular dynamics simulator LAMMPS was released as an open source code in 2004, it has become a widely-used tool for particle-based modeling of materials at length scales ranging from atomic to mesoscale to continuum. Reasons for its popularity are that it provides a wide variety of particle interaction models for different materials, that it runs on any platform from a single CPU core to the largest supercomputers with accelerators, and that it gives users control over simulation details, either via the input script or by adding code for new interatomic potentials, constraints, diagnostics, or other features needed for their models. As a result, hundreds of people have contributed new capabilities to LAMMPS and it has grown from fifty thousand lines of code in 2004 to a million lines today. In this paper several of the fundamental algorithms used in LAMMPS are described along with the design strategies which have made it flexible for both users and developers. We also highlight some capabilities recently added to the code which were enabled by this flexibility, including dynamic load balancing, on-the-fly visualization, magnetic spin dynamics models, and quantum-accuracy machine learning interatomic potentials. Program Summary: Program Title: Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) CPC Library link to program files: https://doi.org/10.17632/cxbxs9btsv.1 Developer's repository link: https://github.com/lammps/lammps Licensing provisions: GPLv2 Programming language: C++, Python, C, Fortran Supplementary material: https://www.lammps.org Nature of problem: Many science applications in physics, chemistry, materials science, and related fields require parallel, scalable, and efficient generation of long, stable classical particle dynamics trajectories. Within this common problem definition, there lies a great diversity of use cases, distinguished by different particle interaction models, external constraints, as well as timescales and lengthscales ranging from atomic to mesoscale to macroscopic. Solution method: The LAMMPS code uses parallel spatial decomposition, distributed neighbor lists, and parallel FFTs for long-range Coulombic interactions . The time integration algorithm is based on the Størmer-Verlet symplectic integrator , which provides better stability than higher-order non-symplectic methods. In addition, LAMMPS supports a wide range of interatomic potentials, constraints, diagnostics, software interfaces, and pre- and post-processing features. Additional comments including restrictions and unusual features: This paper serves as the definitive reference for the LAMMPS code. References:  S. Plimpton, Fast parallel algorithms for short-range molecular dynamics. J. Comp. Phys. 117 (1995) 1–19.  L. Verlet, Computer experiments on classical fluids: I. Thermodynamical properties of Lennard–Jones molecules, Phys. Rev. 159 (1967) 98–103.
This Laboratory Directed Research and Development project developed and applied closely coupled experimental and computational tools to investigate powder compaction across multiple length scales. The primary motivation for this work is to provide connections between powder feedstock characteristics, processing conditions, and powder pellet properties in the context of powder-based energetic components manufacturing. We have focused our efforts on multicrystalline cellulose, a molecular crystalline surrogate material that is mechanically similar to several energetic materials of interest, but provides several advantages for fundamental investigations. We report extensive experimental characterization ranging in length scale from nanometers to macroscopic, bulk behavior. Experiments included nanoindentation of well-controlled, micron-scale pillar geometries milled into the surface of individual particles, single-particle crushing experiments, in-situ optical and computed tomography imaging of the compaction of multiple particles in different geometries, and bulk powder compaction. In order to capture the large plastic deformation and fracture of particles in computational models, we have advanced two distinct meshfree Lagrangian simulation techniques: 1.) bonded particle methods, which extend existing discrete element method capabilities in the Sandia-developed , open-source LAMMPS code to capture particle deformation and fracture and 2.) extensions of peridynamics for application to mesoscale powder compaction, including a novel material model that includes plasticity and creep. We have demonstrated both methods for simulations of single-particle crushing as well as mesoscale multi-particle compaction, with favorable comparisons to experimental data. We have used small-scale, mechanical characterization data to inform material models, and in-situ imaging of mesoscale particle structures to provide initial conditions for simulations. Both mesostructure porosity characteristics and overall stress-strain behavior were found to be in good agreement between simulations and experiments. We have thus demonstrated a novel multi-scale, closely coupled experimental and computational approach to the study of powder compaction. This enables a wide range of possible investigations into feedstock-process-structure relationships in powder-based materials, with immediate applications in energetic component manufacturing, as well as other particle-based components and processes.
Thermal spray processes involve the repeated impact of millions of discrete particles, whose melting, deformation, and coating-formation dynamics occur at microsecond timescales. The accumulated coating that evolves over minutes is comprised of complex, multiphase microstructures, and the timescale difference between the individual particle solidification and the overall coating formation represents a significant challenge for analysts attempting to simulate microstructure evolution. In order to overcome the computational burden, researchers have created rule-based models (similar to cellular automata methods) that do not directly simulate the physics of the process. Instead, the simulation is governed by a set of predefined rules, which do not capture the fine-details of the evolution, but do provide a useful approximation for the simulation of coating microstructures. Here, we introduce a new rules-based process model for microstructure formation during thermal spray processes. The model is 3D, allows for an arbitrary number of material types, and includes multiple porosity-generation mechanisms. Example results of the model for tantalum coatings are presented along with sensitivity analyses of model parameters and validation against 3D experimental data. The model's computational efficiency allows for investigations into the stochastic variation of coating microstructures, in addition to the typical process-to-structure relationships.
Grain-scale microstructure evolution during additive manufacturing is a complex physical process. As with traditional solidification methods of material processing (e.g. casting and welding), microstructural properties are highly dependent on the solidification conditions involved. Additive manufacturing processes however, incorporate additional complexity such as remelting, and solid-state evolution caused by subsequent heat source passes and by holding the entire build at moderately high temperatures during a build. We present a three-dimensional model that simulates both solidification and solid-state evolution phenomena using stochastic Monte Carlo and Potts Monte Carlo methods. The model also incorporates a finite-difference based thermal conduction solver to create a fully integrated microstructural prediction tool. The three modeling methods and their coupling are described and demonstrated for a model study of laser powder-bed fusion of 300-series stainless steel. The investigation demonstrates a novel correlation between the mean number of remelting cycles experienced during a build, and the resulting columnar grain sizes.
Intuition tells us that a rolling or spinning sphere will eventually stop due to the presence of friction and other dissipative interactions. The resistance to rolling and spinning or twisting torque that stops a sphere also changes the microstructure of a granular packing of frictional spheres by increasing the number of constraints on the degrees of freedom of motion. We perform discrete element modeling simulations to construct sphere packings implementing a range of frictional constraints under a pressure-controlled protocol. Mechanically stable packings are achievable at volume fractions and average coordination numbers as low as 0.53 and 2.5, respectively, when the particles experience high resistance to sliding, rolling, and twisting. Only when the particle model includes rolling and twisting friction were experimental volume fractions reproduced.
Using random walk analyses we explore diffusive transport on networks obtained from contacts between isotropically compressed, monodisperse, frictionless sphere packings generated over a range of pressures in the vicinity of the jamming transition p→0. For conductive particles in an insulating medium, conduction is determined by the particle contact network with nodes representing particle centers and edges contacts between particles. The transition rate is not homogeneous, but is distributed inhomogeneously due to the randomness of packing and concomitant disorder of the contact network, e.g., the distribution of the coordination number. A narrow escape time scale is used to write a Markov process for random walks on the particle contact network. This stochastic process is analyzed in terms of spectral density of the random, sparse, Euclidean and real, symmetric, positive, semidefinite transition rate matrix. Results show network structures derived from jammed particles have properties similar to ordered, euclidean lattices but also some unique properties that distinguish them from other structures that are in some sense more homogeneous. In particular, the distribution of eigenvalues of the transition rate matrix follow a power law with spectral dimension 3. However, quantitative details of the statistics of the eigenvectors show subtle differences with homogeneous lattices and allow us to distinguish between topological and geometric sources of disorder in the network.