Strain gradient effects on steady state crack growth in rate-sensitive materials

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Steady state crack propagation produce substantial plastic strain gradients near the tip, which are accompanied by a high density of geometrically necessary dislocations and additional local strain hardening. Here, the objective is to study these gradient effects on Mode I toughness of a homogeneous rate-sensitive metal, using a higher order plasticity theory. Throughout, emphasis is on the toughness rate-sensitivity, as a recent numerical study of a conventional material (no gradient effects) has indicated a significant influence of both strain rate hardening and crack tip velocity. Moreover, a characteristic velocity, at which the toughness becomes independent of the rate-sensitivity, has been observed. It is the aim to bring forward a similar characteristic velocity for the current strain gradient visco-plastic model, as-well as to signify its use in future visco-plastic material modeling.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Pages (from-to)61-71
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Rate-sensitivity
  • Fracture
  • Steady state
  • Size effects

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