New insights into the early stages of creep deformation (Vol. 50, No. 5-6)

New insights into the early stages of creep deformation
Varying strain patterns during creep deformation.

Computer simulations show that the evolution of material structures during creep deformation can modify material properties.

The properties of many materials can change permanently when they are pushed beyond their limits. When a given material is subjected to a force, or ‘load’, which is stronger than a certain limit, it can become so deformed that it won’t return to its original shape, even after the load is removed. However, heavy loads aren’t strictly necessary to deform materials irreversibly; this can also occur if they are subjected to lighter loads over long periods of time, allowing a slow process called ‘creep’ to take place. Physicists have understood for some time that this behaviour involves sequences of small, sudden deformations, but until now, they have lacked a full understanding of how creep deformation affects material properties over time. In new research published recently, the authors analysed the characteristic ways in which material structures evolve during the early stages of creep deformation.

D.Fernandez Castellanos, and M. Zaiser, Statistical dynamics of early creep stages in disordered materials, Eur. Phys. J. B 92, 139 (2019)