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PLASTIC DEFORMATION OF IONIC CRYSTALS

BERNARD SCHAEFFER

ABSTRACT

A single dislocation pile-up was generated in a transparent


crystal. Dislocations stresses were measured. They were
simulated numerically by two different methods.

INTRODUCTION

Although ionic crystals are brittle materials, compared to


metals and plastics, they may be deformed plastically. Silver
chloride has been used as a model of polycrystalline metals
[1]. Plastics also have been used as models because of their
transparency, allowing photoelastic measurement of stresses.
Beyond the yield stress, plastics are no more linear but in
ionic crystals birefringence remains proportional to the
stress. By applying very small deformations on specially
treated single crystals, it is possible to obtain an excess of
only a few thousand edge dislocations in a single glide band.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Experimental
Creating point defects by irradiation is a means to vary at
will the mechanical properties of materials. Radiation
hardening is particularly effective in lithium fluoride
crystals. !-irradiated LiF crystals (24 x 4 x 3 mm) were
obtained by cleavage, then partially annealed in their centre,
using a few turns of a resistive electrical wire, in order to
localise there the plastic deformation and avoid the effect of
stress concentrations at the ends of the specimen. They were
deformed by compression while observed through crossed polars
to visualise stresses by photoelasticity. The applied force
was suppressed immediately after the first glide band had
appeared [2,3].
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Numerical
Two types of calculations were performed:
1) The long range stress distribution was calculated
using finite differences, using the dislocation distribution
along the glide obtained from photoelastic measurements.
2) The mechanical behaviour of the specimen was simulated
with Deform2D [4,5],a dynamical, fully non-linear finite
differences program, in the elastic-plastic approximation.

RESULTS

Experimental
A single dislocation pile-up, schematised on fig. 1, was
created by careful deformation of an irradiated and partially
annealed LiF crystal. The stresses are of opposite signs
across (edge dislocations) and along the glide plane
(dislocation source) (fig. 2).

Compression

Tension

Dislocation
source Tension

Compression

Figure 1. Birefringence around a dislocation pile-up.


The signs of the stresses may be visualised using a sensitive
tint plate: one side of the glide plane will be red and the
other one blue.The glide plane may be seen on the photograph:
it is the fine black line separating two light regions
corresponding to the tensile and compressive stresses created
by the edge dislocations.
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Figure 2. Calculated stress Figure 3. Stress


distribution around a distribution around a
dislocation pile-up. - glide band, calculated
Equidistance of curves is with Deform2D. - The
2 Mpa. From assumed maximum shear in a
dislocation distribution, compression test, being
obtained from photoelastic near 45 °, coincids with
measurement along the glide the glide directions of
plane and calculated by LiF. At the centre of
finite differences, solving the specimen the yield
the biharmonic equation. stresses are four times
Hatched regions correspond smaller than at the
to tensile stresses. This ends. Although the
is very close to stress distribution is
experimental results [3]. not very distinguishable
in black and white, the
glide band is visible on
the picture.
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Numerical
Figure 2 and 3 show the results of calculations of the
stresses produced by plastic deformation in a glide band. On
fig. 2, the dislocation distribution is assumed and on fig. 3,
a simple shear criterion is used, the material having upper
and lower yield stresses.

DISCUSSION

Obtaining a single glide plane is a difficult task numerically


as well as it is experimentally. The agreement is quite good
when the stresses are computed from the photoelastically
measured dislocation distribution. It is less striking with
the second method of calculation, based on isotropic
plasticity and only a few numerical constants.

CONCLUSIONS

The difficulties encountered by some authors at very small


strains in compression testing, as was pointed out by
Sprackling [1], have been solved by !-irradiation and central
annealing of the specimens. Numerically, this was handled by a
varying yield stress, lower in the centre of the specimen than
at the ends. Experiment and simulations on LiF single crystals
build a bridge between microscopic dislocation theory and
macroscopic plasticity theory.

REFERENCES

1. Sprackling , M.T., The Plastic Deformation of Simple Ionic


crystals, Academic Press, London, 1976.

2. Schaeffer, B., Dupuy, C., Saucier, H., Etude photoélastique


des dislocations dans LiF coloré, phys. stat. sol., 1965,
9,pp. 753-765.

3. Schaeffer, B., Etude photoélastique d'un empilement de


dislocations dans LiF coloré, B.,Bull. Soc. franç. Minér.
Crist., 1966, LXXXIX, pp. 297-306.

4. Schaeffer, B., Deform2D: Microcomputer simulation and


fracture of solid parts using numerical methods. In
Proceedings of the fourth SAS-World Conference, FEMCAD 88,
Paris 17-19 October 1988, pp. 133-142.

5. Schaeffer, B., Numerical simulation of Brittle fracture in


ductile materials, 8th Biennial European Conference on
Fracture, ECF8, Torino, October 1-5, 1990, pp. 885-890.