A continuum dislocation-based model of wedge microindentation of single crystals

Giacomo Po, Yue Huang, Nasr Ghoniem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Recent Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) experiments have revealed the emergence of heterogeneous dislocation microstructures forming under a wedge indenter in fcc crystals, where micro-meter dislocation patterns challenge the predictions of traditional models of plasticity. In order to explain the formation of these features and develop a relationship between the force-displacement curve and the dislocation substructure, we present here a model of wedge indentation based on the continuum theory of dislocations. The model accounts for large deformation kinematics through the multiplicative split of the deformation gradient tensor, where the incompatible plastic component of deformation results from the flux of dislocations on different and interacting slips systems. Constitutive equations for dislocation fluxes are determined from a dissipative variational principle. As a result, each dislocation density satisfies an initial-boundary value problem with convective-diffusive character, which is coupled to the macroscopic stress and displacement fields governing the deformation process. Solution to the self-consistent continuum formulation is found using the finite element method. Computer simulations mimic the experimental conditions of wedge micro-indentation experiments into Ni single-crystals used by Kysar et al. (2010a). A comparison of overall dislocation density distribution and macroscopic mechanical response shows good overall agreement with the experimental results in terms of the detailed features of dislocation patterns and lattice rotations as well as the macroscopic force-displacement response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-86
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Plasticity
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dislocation density tensor
  • Dislocation patterns
  • Finite deformation
  • Indentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A continuum dislocation-based model of wedge microindentation of single crystals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this