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Localised prior strain-hardening increases the tearing resistance of ductile steel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
Early online date10 Oct 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Oct 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Oct 2018
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2019


In structural materials, ‘intrinsic’ toughening originates from plastic dissipation of strain energy at the tips of cracks. This depends on a material's microstructure and its stress–strain response. By introducing a spatially-varying distribution of prior strain-hardening into a material, we can modify the stress field which develops around a crack as it is loaded, producing an increased resistance to ductile tearing. We demonstrate this toughening effect using synchrotron X-ray diffraction and digital image correlation measurements of the crack tip region in a ductile ferritic steel. Localised strain-hardening also introduces a residual stress, but this is shown not to contribute significantly to the initiation of tearing in this material.

    Research areas

  • Ductile tearing, Digital image correlation, Energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction, Finite element analysis

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