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Ductile and brittle yielding in thermal and athermal amorphous materials.

Barlow, Hugh J. and Cochran, James O. and Fielding, Suzanne M. (2020) 'Ductile and brittle yielding in thermal and athermal amorphous materials.', Physical review letters., 125 (16). p. 168003.


We study theoretically the yielding of sheared amorphous materials as a function of increasing levels of initial sample annealing prior to shear, in three widely used constitutive models and three widely studied annealing protocols. In thermal systems we find a gradual progression, with increasing annealing, from smoothly “ductile” yielding, in which the sample remains homogeneous, to abruptly “brittle” yielding, in which it becomes strongly shear banded. This progression arises from an increase with annealing in the size of an overshoot in the underlying stress-strain curve for homogeneous shear, which causes a shear banding instability that becomes more severe with increasing annealing. Ductile and brittle yielding thereby emerge as two limiting cases of a continuum of yielding transitions, from gradual to catastrophic. In contrast, athermal systems with a stress overshoot always show brittle yielding at low shear rates, however small the overshoot.

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Publisher statement:Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.
Date accepted:09 September 2020
Date deposited:28 October 2020
Date of first online publication:15 October 2020
Date first made open access:28 October 2020

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