Variational constitutive updates for microstructure evolution in hcp metals


Magnesium and its alloys are promising materials for lightweight applications. Unfortunately, the macroscopic formability of such materials is relatively poor at room temperature and these metals are characterized by a complex mechanical response. This response is a result of the interplay between different deformation modes at the microscale. Since magnesium is a material showing a hexagonal close-packed (hcp) structure of the underlying atomic lattice, plasticity caused by dislocations and deformation-induced twinning are the most relevant deformation modes. Within the present paper, two different recently advocated modeling approaches suitable for capturing such modes at the microscale are analyzed. It is shown that both models can be rewritten into a variationally consistent format where every aspect is naturally driven by energy minimization. In addition to this already known feature, it turns out that both models are based on the same minimization problem. The difference between the models results from different constraints enforced within the variational principle. For getting further insight into the interaction between dislocations and twinning interfaces, accompanying atomistic simulations based on molecular dynamics are also performed. The results of such simulations enter the micromechanical model through the initial plastic deformation within the twinned phase.
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