An interactive micro-void shear localization mechanism in high strength steels

Cahal McVeigh, Franck Vernerey, Wing Kam Liu*, Brian Moran, Gregory Olson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Ductility of high strength steels is often restricted by the onset of a void-sheet mechanism in which failure occurs by a micro-void shear localization process. For the first time, the micro-void shear instability mechanism is identified here by examining the interactions occurring within a system of multiple embedded secondary particles (carbides ∼10-100 nm), through a finite element based computational cell modeling technique (in two and three dimensions). Shear deformation leads to the nucleation of micro-voids as the secondary particles debond from the surrounding alloy matrix. The nucleated micro-voids grow into elongated void tails along the principal shear plane and coalesce with the micro-voids nucleated at neighboring particles. At higher strains, the neighboring particles are driven towards each other, further escalating the severity of the shear coalescence effect. This shear driven nucleation, growth and coalescence mechanism leads to a decrease in the load-bearing surface in the shear plane and a terminal shear instability occurs. The mechanism is incorporated mathematically into a hierarchical steel model. The simulated response corresponds to experimentally observed behavior only when the micro-void shear localization mechanism is considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-244
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Office of Naval Research under the D3D Digital Structure consortium program and the helpful advice of Professor David Parks.


  • Constitutive behaviour
  • Ductility
  • Finite elements
  • Microstructures
  • Voids and inclusions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An interactive micro-void shear localization mechanism in high strength steels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this