Quenched pinning and collective dislocation dynamics

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Several experiments show that crystalline solids deform in a bursty and intermittent fashion. Power-law distributed strain bursts in compression experiments of micron-sized samples, and acoustic emission energies from larger-scale specimens, are the key signatures of the underlying critical-like collective dislocation dynamics - a phenomenon that has also been seen in discrete dislocation dynamics (DDD) simulations. Here we show, by performing large-scale two-dimensional DDD simulations, that the character of the dislocation avalanche dynamics changes upon addition of sufficiently strong randomly distributed quenched pinning centres, present e.g. in many alloys as immobile solute atoms. For intermediate pinning strength, our results adhere to the scaling picture of depinning transitions, in contrast to pure systems where dislocation jamming dominates the avalanche dynamics. Still stronger disorder quenches the critical behaviour entirely.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10580
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • avalanches
  • dislocations
  • plastic deformation


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