Fracture in mechanism-based strain gradient plasticity

H. Jiang, Y. Huang, Z. Zhuang, K. C. Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


In a remarkable series of experiments, Elssner, Korn and Ruehle (Scripta Metall. Mater. 31 (1994) 1037) observed cleavage fracture in ductile materials, a phenomenon that cannot be explained by classical plasticity theories. In this paper we present a study of fracture by the theory of mechanism-based strain gradient (MSG) plasticity (Gao et al., J. Mech. Phys. Solids 47 (1999b) 1239); Huang et al., J. Mech. Phys. Solids 48 (2000a) 99). It is established that, at a distance much larger than the dislocation spacing such that continuum plasticity is applicable, the stress level in MSG plasticity is significantly higher than that in classical plasticity near the crack tip. The numerical results also show that the crack tip stress singularity in MSG plasticity is higher than that in the HRR field, and it exceeds or equals to the square-root singularity. This study provides a means to explain the observed cleavage fracture in ductile material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-993
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • A. Fracture
  • Mechanism-based strain gradient plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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