On the implementation of dislocation reactions in continuum dislocation dynamics modeling of mesoscale plasticity

Vignesh Vivekanandan, Peng Lin, Grethe Winther, Anter El-Azab*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    The continuum dislocation dynamics framework for mesoscale plasticity is intended to capture the dislocation density evolution and the deformation of crystals when subjected to mechanical loading. It does so by solving a set of transport equations for dislocations concurrently with crystal mechanics equations, with the latter being cast in the form of an eigenstrain problem. Incorporating dislocation reactions in the dislocation transport equations is essential for making such continuum dislocation dynamics predictive. A formulation is proposed to incorporate dislocation reactions in the transport equations of the vector density-based continuum dislocation dynamics. This formulation aims to rigorously enforce dislocation line continuity using the concept of virtual dislocations that close all dislocation loops involved in cross slip, annihilation, and glissile and sessile junction reactions. The addition of virtual dislocations enables us to accurately enforce the divergence free condition upon the numerical solution of the dislocation transport equations for all slip systems individually. A set of tests were performed to illustrate the accuracy of the formulation and the solution of the transport equations within the vector density-based continuum dislocation dynamics. Comparing the results from these tests with an earlier approach in which the divergence free constraint was enforced on the total dislocation density tensor or the sum of two densities when only cross slip is considered shows that the new approach yields highly accurate results. Bulk simulations were performed for a face centered cubic crystal based on the new formulation and the results were compared with discrete dislocation dynamics predictions of the same. The microstructural features obtained from continuum dislocation dynamics were also analyzed with reference to relevant experimental observations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number104327
    JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Continuum dislocation dynamics
    • Crystal plasticity
    • Dislocation reactions


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