Theory and Applications of a Computational Framework for Crystal Plasticity

Theory and Applications of a Computational Framework for Crystal Plasticity


The course addresses some of the challenges in simulating crystal plasticity arising from its underlying multi-length scale nature. After introducing the relevant background in metal physics and continuum mechanics, we discuss strategies of coarse-graining material behavior on different length scales as well as a flexible framework for numerical implementation.


Almost all structural metals undergo plastic, i.e. permanent, deformation during their production and/or use. The simulation of plasticity in crystalline solids is hence an important issue in various engineering disciplines ranging from the optimization of lattice defect content during solidification and cooling of mono-crystals for semi-conductor applications to the prediction of anisotropic shape changes in deep drawing of Al sheets into beverage cans.

However, this is not at all an easy task. The major challenge faced is the multi-scale nature of the problem. Typically, structural metals are not homogenous in a continuum sense but contain a hierarchy of structural features. Hence, the actual stress operating in the vicinity of dislocations, i.e. the linear lattice lattice defects predominantly mediating plasticity on the level of individual crystallites, is difficult to predict from the boundary conditions imposed on the component scale.

The series of lectures aims to illuminate fundamental aspects connected to a computational framework for crystal plasticity. We will deal with:

  • crystal plasticity background from metal physics
  • continuum mechanical background
  • coarse-graining schemes for individual crystallites and poly-crystals
  • time-integration schemes
  • modular coding
  • applications, examples and outlooks.