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Basics of Crystal Plasticity

Plastic deformation deformation which remains after load is removed atomic rearrangements (change of neighbours)

Plastic deformation of crystals preserves lattice structure. shearing of lattice planes against each other (slip) plastic displacements are quantized in terms of multiple lattice vectors

At low temperatures / high stresses: Deformation of crystals occurs exclusively by slip of lattice planes Slip system is characterized by: slip plane normal n r slip direction s slip vector (a lattice vector in the slip direction) often: slip planes are most densely packed lattice planes slip directions are most densely packed lattice directions

On surface: slip can be seen in the form of slip steps along lines where the slip planes intersect the surface

Example: Slip lines on the surface of a polycrystalline Ni specimen. Slip traces from two slip systems are visible

Driving force for slip: Tensile stress = F / A leads to resolved shear stress R in slip system

R = cos cos

r n
r s

No shear stress if slip direction or slip plane normal are perpendicular to the tensile axis Maximum shear stress if slip plane and slip direction are under 45o to the tensile axis.In single crystals: Slip starts on slip system with highest resolved shear stress

How do lattice planes slip? Not: breaking all bonds simultaneously (this would imply a perfectly strong, but also perfectly brittle material!) Instead: slip involves motion of defects: Dislocations

Side view of the motion of an edge dislocation

Dislocation is characterized by slip vector (Burgers vector) and slip plane Burgers vector: when you make a closed circuit around a dislocation, there is a mismatch of one lattice vector. This is the Burgers vector

Type of dislocation depends on orientation of the dislocation line with respect to the Burgers vector. Screw dislocation: line is parallel to Burgers vector

Edge dislocation: line is perpendicular to Burgers vector

Some top views of dislocations: (blue = atoms above slip plane red = atoms below slip plane) an edge dislocation a screw dislocation

A dislocation loop Dislocation = boundary of slipped area (follow a vertical row of blue atoms to see the displacement

Stress required to move dislocations: 1) Stress required to displace dislocation by one Burgers vector (stress to break bonds): Peierls stress 2) Stress required to move dislocation across obstacles A dislocation pinned by a localized obstacle

Introduction of dislocation obstacles: solution/precipitation hardening 3) Stress required to overcome dislocation interactions: work hardening

Dislocations: Internal stresses and dislocation interactions Dislocations create lattice distorsions and stress and strain fields

Typically 5% of work done during deformation is stored as elastic energy of the dislocation stress fields Elastic energy per unit length of dislocation line: EL ~ Gb (Consequence: only dislocations with smallest Burgers vectors occur) Stress fields decay like ~ Gb / r where r is the vertical distance from the dislocation

Stress fields lead to dislocation interactions

Estimating the magnitude of dislocation interactions: Dislocation density

length of dislocation lines number of intersection points = unit volume unit area

Mean dislocation spacing

d = 1/
~ Gb / d ~ Gb

Characteristic interaction stress

Rate of deformation by slip (shearing rate proportional to dislocation density Burgers vector modulus b dislocation velocity v Orowans equation:

d ): dt

d = bv dt

Dislocation velocity depends on stress, temperature and presence of dislocation obstacles Often: thermally activated process with activation energy Empirical relation for dislocation glide velocity:


v = v0 G

E exp G kT

where NG = stress exponent for glide (typically ~10), T temperature

Dislocation climb: Dislocation can move perpendicular to its glide plane only if matter is added or removed: climb motion By climbing, dislocations can move past obstacles Climb is possible if diffusion processes lead to transport of matter Usually: vacancy diffusion Rate of climb depends on concentration and diffusivity of lattice vacancies : proportional to self-diffusion rate climb velocity:

v = v0 G


E exp SD kT

where NC = stress exponent for climb (typically ~3), ESD activation energy for self-diffusion (formation + migration energies of vacancies)

Diffusional creep: No motion of dislocations, deformation due to matter transport by point-defect diffusion Stress exponent is small (1 or 2) Often grain boundary diffusion: activation energy is small) Creep rate

& & = 0 G


E exp D kT

Different deformation mechanisms are characterized by different activation energies and stress exponents

Determination of stress exponents: Experiments at constant temperature but varying stress Plot log(deformation rate) vs. log(stress)

Determination of activation energies: Experiments at constant stress but varying temperature Plot log(deformation rate) vs 1/temperature

Different deformation mechanisms operate in general simultaneously But: Usually one mechanism (the fastest) prevails Boundaries between different deformation mechanisms: Equate respective rates For rates in the form
i d E & = i0 exp i dt i G kT

we get for the boundary between two mechanisms i and j

i E & & i0 exp i = j0 G G kT


Ej exp kT Ei E j kT


& 0 ln i0 + ( N i N j ) ln = & G j

choose semi-logarithmic representation of stress vs. temperature

Result: Deformation mechanism maps (Example: Ni-base superalloy)