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Strain Localization in a Shear Transformation Zone Model for Amorphous Solids

Mary E. Manning, James S. Langer, & Jean M. Carlson

Published November 2007, SCEC Contribution #1157

We model a sheared disordered solid using the theory of shear transformation zones (STZs). In this mean-field continuum model the density of zones is governed by an effective temperature that approaches a steady state value as energy is dissipated. We compare the STZ model to simulations by Shi et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 185505 (2007)], finding that the model generates solutions that fit the data, exhibit strain localization, and capture important features of the localization process. We show that perturbations to the effective temperature grow due to an instability in the transient dynamics, but unstable systems do not always develop shear bands. Nonlinear energy dissipation processes interact with perturbation growth to determine whether a material exhibits strain localization. By estimating the effects of these interactions, we derive a criterion that determines which materials exhibit shear bands based on the initial conditions alone. We also show that the shear band width is not set by an inherent diffusion length scale but instead by a dynamical scale that depends on the imposed strain rate.

Manning, M. E., Langer, J. S., & Carlson, J. M. (2007). Strain Localization in a Shear Transformation Zone Model for Amorphous Solids. Physical Review E, 76(5), 056106. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.76.056106.