Dense dispersed shear bands in gradient-structured Ni

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Yanfei Wang
  • Chongxiang Huang
  • Yusheng Li
  • Fengjiao Guo
  • Qiong He
  • Mingsai Wang
  • Xiaolei Wu
  • Ronald O. Scattergood


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-198
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Plasticity
Online published19 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


During tensile deformation, nanostructured (NS) metals often fail soon after yielding by forming a localized shear band. Here we report the observation of high density of shear bands that are homogeneously dispersed in the NS layer of a gradient Ni sample. These shear bands were nucleated at early elastic/plastic strain stage, reached number saturation at ∼3% strain, and remained arrested by the central coarse-grained (CG) matrix during the entire plastic deformation, resulting in a uniform tensile plasticity comparable to that of CG matrix. The formation of dispersed shear bands was promoted by the elastic/plastic interaction between NS surface layer and CG matrix, and affected by the surface roughness and the hardness variation in the NS surface layer. The width of shear bands remained constant, but the intensity of strain accumulation increased almost linearly with applied tensile strain, suggesting a stable shear banding process. Microstructure examination revealed that the strain in shear bands was accommodated by mechanically driven grain boundary migration and grain coarsening. These results clarify the fundamental questions: why/how does the NS layer supported by CG matrix achieve large uniform elongation? Moreover, the findings demonstrate the possibility of activating dispersed stable shear bands by synthesizing gradient architecture for optimized mechanical performances, i.e., a new strategy for evading the strength-ductility tradeoff in NS metals.

Research Area(s)

  • Ductility, Gradient structure, Nanostructured metal, Shear bands, Strength heterogeneity, Synergistic constraint

Citation Format(s)

Dense dispersed shear bands in gradient-structured Ni. / Wang, Yanfei; Huang, Chongxiang; Li, Yusheng et al.
In: International Journal of Plasticity, Vol. 124, 01.2020, p. 186-198.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review