On boundary conditions and plastic strain-gradient discontinuity in lower-order gradient plasticity

Amit Acharya, Huang Tang, Sunil Saigal, John L. Bassani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Through linearized analysis and computation, we show that lower-order gradient plasticity is compatible with boundary conditions, thus expanding its predictive capability. A physically motivated gradient modification of the conventional Voce hardening law is shown to lead to a convective stabilizing effect in 1-D, rate-independent plasticity. The partial differential equation is genuinely nonlinear and does not arise as a conservation law, thus making the task of inferring plausible boundary conditions a delicate matter. Implications of wave-type behavior in rate-independent plastic response (under conditions of static equilibrium) are analyzed with a discussion of an appropriate numerical algorithm. Example problems are solved numerically, showing the robustness and simplicity of physically motivated lower-order gradient plasticity. The 3-D case and rate-dependent constitutive assumptions are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1793-1826
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Boundary conditions
  • Gradient plasticity
  • Hardening


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