The effect of surface or interface energy on size dependent plasticity at the micron and submicron length scales

George Z. Voyiadjis, Rashid K. Abu Al-Rub

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The surface or interface effects increase as the size of the structure decreases. It is shown in this work that the effect of free surfaces or interfaces on size dependent plasticity can be successfully characterized by a nonlocality energy residual related to the level of surface energy at the free surface or interface. This is achieved through the use of the higher-order gradient plasticity theory. A detailed discussion on the physics and the application of proper microscopic boundary conditions, either on free surfaces, clamped surfaces, or intermediate constrained surfaces, is presented. It is shown that there is a close connection between interface/surface energy of an interface or free surface and the microscopic boundary conditions in terms of microtraction stresses. Finally, applications of the proposed theory for size effects in biaxial tension of thin films are presented for different interface conditions.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationMaterials Processing and Manufacturing Division Symposium
Subtitle of host publicationMechanics and Materials Modeling and Materials Design Methodologies - Proceedings of Symposium held during the 2007 TMS Annual Meeting
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2007
Event136th TMS Annual Meeting, 2007 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 25 Feb 20071 Mar 2007

Publication series

NameTMS Annual Meeting


Conference136th TMS Annual Meeting, 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Gradient plasticity
  • Size effects
  • Thin films


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