Grain interactions in crystal plasticity
The plastic response of a sheet metal is governed by the collective response of the underlying grains. Intragranular plasticity depends on intrinsic variables such as crystallographic orientation and on extrinsic variables such as grain interactions; however, the role of the latter is not well understood. A finite element crystal plasticity formulation is used to investigate the importance of grain interactions on intragranular plastic deformation in initially untextured polycrystalline aggregates. A statistical analysis reveals that grain interactions are of equal (or more) importance for determining the average intragranular deviations from the applied strain as compared to the orientation of the grain itself. Furthermore, the influence of the surrounding grains is found to extend past nearest neighbor interactions. It is concluded that the stochastic nature of the mesoscale environment must be considered for a proper understanding of the plastic response of sheet metals at the grain-scale.