Gradient-type modeling of the effects of plastic recovery and surface passivation in thin films

Jinxing Liu, Ai Kah Soh

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The elasto-plastic responses of thin films subjected to cyclic tension-compression loading and bending are studied, with a focus on Bauschinger and size effects. For this purpose, a model is established by incorporating plastic recovery into the strain gradient plasticity theory we proposed recently. Elastic and plastic parts of strain and strain gradient, which are determined by the elasto-plastic decomposition according to the associative rule, are assumed to have a degree of material-dependent reversibility. Based on the above assumption, a dislocation reversibility-dependent rule is built to describe evolutions of different deformation components under cyclic loadings. Furthermore, a simple strategy is provided to implement the passivated boundary effects by introducing a gradual change to relevant material parameters in the yield function. Based on this theory, both bulge and bending tests under cyclic loading conditions are investigated. By comparing the present predictions with the existing experimental data, it is found that the yield function is able to exhibit the size effect, the Bauschinger effect, the influence of surface passivation and the hysteresis-loop phenomenon. Thus, the proposed model is deemed helpful in studying plastic deformations of micron-scale films.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065001
Number of pages17
JournalModelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Bauschinger effect
  • cyclic loading
  • plastic recovery
  • strain gradient plasticity (SGP)
  • surface passivation

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