Yield point phenomena (YPP) are widely attributed to discrete dislocation locking by solute atmospheres. An alternate YPP mechanism was recently suggested by simulations of Ta single crystals without any influence of solutes or discrete dislocations. The general meso-scale (GM) simulations consist of crystal plasticity (CP) plus accounting for internal stresses of geometrically necessary dislocation content. GM predicted the YPP while CP did not, suggesting a novel internal stress mechanism. The predicted YPP varied with crystal orientation and boundary conditions, contrary to expectations for a solute mechanism. The internal stress mechanism was probed by experimentally deforming oligocrystal Ta samples and comparing the results with independent GM simulations. Strain distributions of the experiments were observed with high-resolution digital image correlation. A YPP stress–strain response occurred in the 0–2% strain range in agreement with GM predictions. Shear bands appeared concurrent with the YPP stress–strain perturbation in agreement with GM predictions. At higher strains, the shear bands grew at progressively slower rates in agreement with GM predictions. It was concluded that the internal stress mechanism can account for the existence of YPP in a wide variety of materials including ones where interstitial-dislocation interactions and dislocation transient avalanches are improbable. The internal stress mechanism is a CP analog of various micro-scale mechanisms of discrete dislocations such as pile-up or bow-out. It may operate concurrently with strain aging, or either mechanism may operate alone. A suggestion was made for a future experiment to answer this question.

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