Validation of a phenomenological strain-gradient plasticity theory
Philosophical Magazine Letters: structure and properties of condensed matter
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Strain-gradient plasticity theories have been developed to account for the size effect in small-scale plasticity in metals. However, they remain of limited use in engineering, for example in standards for nanoindentation, because of their phenomenological nature. In particular, a key parameter, the characteristic length, can only be determined by fitting to experiment. Here it is shown that the characteristic length in one such theory derives directly from known quantities through fundamental dislocation physics. This explains and validates the theory for use in engineering.
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