Dislocation structures forming during cyclic loading of fcc metals are fatigue damage precursors. Their specific structures are caused by the motion and interactions of dislocations. Depending on the load conditions, the grain orientation, the stacking fault energy, a variety of different dislocation structures appear in the material such as labyrinths, cells, veins and persistent slip bands. We present a continuum dislocation-based model for cyclic fatigue and incorporate it into a crystal plasticity finite element solver. A method for the simulation of dislocation junction formation is introduced, which reproduces the behaviour of discrete objects, such as dislocations, in a continuum framework. The formation of dislocation walls after 50 and 100 deformation cycles at 0.95% and 0.65% strain amplitude starting from an initial random dislocation distribution is predicted for 〈001〉 and 〈11¯0〉 oriented crystals. Simulations and cyclic tension-compression experiments of polycrystalline 316L stainless steel are performed to compare our model with another model based on edge and screw dislocation densities. The simulated dislocation structures and experimental results, obtained with the electron channeling contrast imaging technique, are compared using a 2D orientation distribution function of the dislocation structures. The dominant orientation of dislocation walls is predicted by the new model; it turns out to be perpendicular to the intersection line between the two slip planes involved in their formation and at an angle of around 45o from the loading axis. This agrees well with the experimental observations and represents a step forward for understanding the formation mechanism of these dislocation structures.
- Dislocation-based crystal plasticity
- Finite element method