A nonlocal elastic-plastic material model is used to show that the rate of void growth is significantly reduced when the voids are small enough to be comparable with a characteristic material length. For a very small void in the material between much larger voids the competition between an increased growth rate due to the stress concentrations around the larger voids and a reduced growth rate due to the nonlocal effects is studied. The analyses are based on an axisymmetric unit cell model with special boundary conditions, which allow for a relatively simple investigation of a full three dimensional array of spherical voids. It is shown that the high growth rate of very small voids predicted by conventional plasticity theory is not realistic when the effect of a characteristic length, dependent on the dislocation structure, is accounted for. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Ductile fracture