Generalized continuum modeling of scale-dependent crystalline plasticity
Mayeur, Jason R.
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The use of metallic material systems (e.g. pure metals, alloys, metal matrix composites) in a wide range of engineering applications from medical devices to electronic components to automobiles continues to motivate the development of improved constitutive models to meet increased performance demands while minimizing cost. Emerging technologies often incorporate materials in which the dominant microstructural features have characteristic dimensions reaching into the submicron and nanometer regime. Metals comprised of such fine microstructures often exhibit unique and size-dependent mechanical response, and classical approaches to constitutive model development at engineering (continuum) scales, being local in nature, are inadequate for describing such behavior. Therefore, traditional modeling frameworks must be augmented or reformulated to account for such phenomena. Crystal plasticity constitutive models have proven quite capable of capturing first-order microstructural effects such as grain orientation, grain morphology, phase distribution, etc. on the deformation behavior of both single and polycrystals, yet suffer from the same limitations as other local continuum theories with regard to modeling scale-dependent mechanical response. This research is focused on the development, numerical implementation, and application of a novel, physics-based generalized (nonlocal) theory of single crystal plasticity. Two distinct versions of a dislocation-based micropolar single crystal plasticity theory are developed and discussed within the context of more prominent nonlocal crystal plasticity theories. The constitutive models have been implemented in the commercial finite element code Abaqus, and the size-dependent deformation of both single and polycrystalline metals have been studied via direct numerical simulation. A comparison of results obtained from the solution of several equivalent initial-boundary value problems using the developed models and a model of discrete dislocation dynamics has demonstrated the predictive capabilities of the micropolar theory and also highlighted areas for potential model refinement.