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A non-singular continuum theory of dislocations. (English) Zbl 1120.74329

Summary: We develop a non-singular, self-consistent framework for computing the stress field and the total elastic energy of a general dislocation microstructure. The expressions are self-consistent in that the driving force defined as the negative derivative of the total energy with respect to the dislocation position, is equal to the force produced by stress, through the Peach-Koehler formula. The singularity intrinsic to the classical continuum theory is removed here by spreading the Burgers vector isotropically about every point on the dislocation line using a spreading function characterized by a single parameter \(a\), the spreading radius. A particular form of the spreading function chosen here leads to simple analytic formulations for stress produced by straight dislocation segments, segment self and interaction energies, and forces on the segments. For any value \(a > 0\), the total energy and the stress remain finite everywhere, including on the dislocation lines themselves. Furthermore, the well-known singular expressions are recovered for \(a = 0\). The value of the spreading radius a can be selected for numerical convenience, to reduce the stiffness of the dislocation equations of motion. Alternatively, a can be chosen to match the atomistic and continuum energies of dislocation configurations.

MSC:

74A60 Micromechanical theories
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