Shear Bands in Materials Processing: Understanding the Mechanics of Flow Localization From Zener's Time to the Present Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Shear banding is a material instability in large strain plastic deformation of solids, where otherwise homogeneous flow becomes localized in narrow micrometer-scale bands. Shear bands have broad implications for materials processing and failure under dynamic loading in a wide variety of material systems ranging from metals to rocks. This year marks 75years since the publication of Zener and Hollomon's pioneering work on shear bands (Zener and Hollomon, J Appl. Phys., 15, 2232, 1944), which is widely credited with drawing the attention of the mechanics community to shear bands and related localization phenomena. Since this landmark publication, there has been significant experimental and theoretical investigation into the onset of shear banding. Yet, given the extremely small length and time scales associated with band development, several challenges persist in studying the evolution of single bands, postinitiation. For instance, spatiotemporal development of strain fields in the vicinity of a band, crucial to understanding the transition from localized flow to fracture, has remained largely unexplored. Recent full-field displacement measurements, coupled with numerical modeling, have only begun to ameliorate this problem. This article summarizes our present understanding of plastic flow dynamics around single shear bands and the subsequent transition to fracture, with special emphasis on the postinstability stage. These topics are covered specifically from a materials processing perspective. We begin with a semihistorical look at some of Zener's early ideas on shear bands and discuss recent advances in experimental methods for mapping localized flow during band formation, including direct in situ imaging as well as ex situ/postmortem analyses. Classical theories and analytical frameworks are revisited in the light of recently published experimental data. We show that shear bands exhibit a wealth of complex flow characteristics that bear striking resemblance to viscous fluid flows and related boundary layer phenomena. Finally, new material systems and strategies for reproducing shear band formation at low speeds are discussed. It is hoped that these will help further our understanding of shear band dynamics, the subsequent transition to fracture, and lead to practical control strategies for suppressing shear band-driven failures in processing applications.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Viswanathan, K., Yadav, S., & Sagapuram, D.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Viswanathan, Koushik||Yadav, Shwetabh||Sagapuram, Dinakar

publication date

  • January 2020