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Published December 2002 | public
Journal Article

A phase-field theory of dislocation dynamics, strain hardening and hysteresis in ductile single crystals


A phase-field theory of dislocation dynamics, strain hardening and hysteresis in ductile single crystals is developed. The theory accounts for: an arbitrary number and arrangement of dislocation lines over a slip plane; the long-range elastic interactions between dislocation lines; the core structure of the dislocations resulting from a piecewise quadratic Peierls potential; the interaction between the dislocations and an applied resolved shear stress field; and the irreversible interactions with short-range obstacles and lattice friction, resulting in hardening, path dependency and hysteresis. A chief advantage of the present theory is that it is analytically tractable, in the sense that the complexity of the calculations may be reduced, with the aid of closed form analytical solutions, to the determination of the value of the phase field at point-obstacle sites. In particular, no numerical grid is required in calculations. The phase-field representation enables complex geometrical and topological transitions in the dislocation ensemble, including dislocation loop nucleation, bow-out, pinching, and the formation of Orowan loops. The theory also permits the consideration of obstacles of varying strengths and dislocation line-energy anisotropy. The theory predicts a range of behaviors which are in qualitative agreement with observation, including: hardening and dislocation multiplication in single slip under monotonic loading; the Bauschinger effect under reverse loading; the fading memory effect, whereby reverse yielding gradually eliminates the influence of previous loading; the evolution of the dislocation density under cycling loading, leading to characteristic 'butterfly' curves; and others.

Additional Information

© 2002 Elsevier. Received 21 September 2001, Accepted 14 May 2002, Available online 5 October 2002. The support of the DOE through Caltech's ASCI Center for the Simulation of the Dynamic Response of Materials is gratefully acknowledged. We are grateful to Stefan Müller and Adriana Garroni for helpful comments and suggestions.

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