An incremental flow theory for crystal plasticity incorporating strain gradient effects

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    The present work investigates a new approach to formulating a rate-independent strain gradient theory for crystal plasticity. The approach takes as offset recent discussions published in the literature for isotropic plasticity, and a key ingredient of the present work is the manner in which a gradient enhanced effective slip measure governs hardening evolution. The effect of both plastic strains and plastic strain gradients are combined into this scalar effective slip quantity, the energy associated with plastic strain is dissipative (unrecoverable), while the energy from plastic strain gradients is recoverable (free). The framework developed forms the basis of a finite element implementation and is demonstrated on benchmark problems designed to bring out effects such as strengthening and hardening. Monotonic loading and plane strain deformation is assumed throughout, but despite this, non-proportional straining is predicted in the plastic regime even under pure shear conditions. Results of single slip and symmetric double slip reveal that strengthening and hardening are governed by the slip system orientation and the material length parameter only.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
    Pages (from-to)239–250
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Higher order theory
    • Size effects
    • Rate-independent formulation


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