Discrete dislocation plasticity and crack tip fields in single crystals
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Small-scale yielding around a stationary plane strain mode I crack is analyzed using discrete dislocation plasticity. The dislocations are all of edge character, and are modeled as line singularities in a linear elastic material. Superposition is used to represent the solution in terms of analytical fields for edge dislocations in a half-space and a numerical image solution that enforces the boundary conditions. The description of the dislocation dynamics includes the lattice resistance to dislocation motion, dislocation nucleation, interaction with obstacles and annihilation. A model planar crystal with three slip systems is considered. Two slip system orientations are analyzed that differ by a 90 rotation. The non-hardening, single crystal plasticity continuum slip solution of Rice (Mech. Mater. 6 (1987) 317) for this model crystal predicts that slip and kink bands emerge for both crystal geometries, while Drugan (J. Mech. Phys. Solids 49 (2001) 2155) has obtained kink band free solutions. For a r eference set of parameter values, kink band free solutions are found in one orientation while the emergence of kink bands is seen in the other orientation. However, lowering the dislocation source density suppresses the formation of kink bands in this orientation as well. In all calculations, the opening stress in the immediate vicinity of the crack tip is much larger than predicted by continuum slip theory. 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.