Discrete dislocation dynamics simulations of surface induced size effects in plasticity

Chung Souk Han*, Alexander Hartmaier, Huajian Gao, Yonggang Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Experiments have shown that the presence of free surfaces may induce harder as well as softer deformation behaviors in a crystalline solid. In order to shed some light on these apparently contradictory findings, two-dimensional discrete dislocation dynamics simulations are performed to investigate the surface induced size effects. The simulations indicate that, depending on the surface density of dislocation sources, a free surface may act either as a dislocation sink or as a net dislocation source, and can accordingly exert opposite effects on dislocation density over a boundary layer thickness of up to 500nm into the bulk. This finding provides a possible explanation for the apparent contradictions in experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2006


  • Discrete dislocation dynamics
  • Plasticity
  • Size effects
  • Surface effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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