PLASTIC DEFORMATION OF IONIC CRYSTALS
A single dislocation pile-up was generated in a transparentcrystal. Dislocations stresses were measured. They weresimulated numerically by two different methods.
Although ionic crystals are brittle materials, compared to metals and plastics, they may be deformed plastically. Silverchloride has been used as a model of polycrystalline metals. Plastics also have been used as models because of theirtransparency, allowing photoelastic measurement of stresses.Beyond the yield stress, plastics are no more linear but inionic crystals birefringence remains proportional to thestress. By applying very small deformations on speciallytreated single crystals, it is possible to obtain an excess ofonly a few thousand edge dislocations in a single glide band.
MATERIALS AND METHODSExperimental
Creating point defects by irradiation is a means to vary at will the mechanical properties of materials. Radiationhardening is particularly effective in lithium fluoridecrystals.
-irradiated LiF crystals (24 x 4 x 3 mm) wereobtained by cleavage, then partially annealed in their centre,using a few turns of a resistive electrical wire, in order tolocalise there the plastic deformation and avoid the effect ofstress concentrations at the ends of the specimen. They weredeformed by compression while observed through crossed polarsto visualise stresses by photoelasticity. The applied force was suppressed immediately after the first glide band hadappeared [2,3].