The Effects of the Surface on the Mechanical Properties of Metals

  • J. C. Grosskreutz
  • D. K. Benson
Part of the Sagamore Army Materials Research Conference Proceedings book series (SAMC, volume 14)


The surface as a physical discontinuity affects many of the mechanical properties of metals. The basic consequences of the existence of the surface, its influence on dislocation dynamics, and finally the resulting effects on macroscopic plastic behavior are discussed.

The basic consequences of the surface discontinuity include the surface energy, the formation of surface oxides, the existence of image forces on dislocations, and the revelation of plastic displacements during deformation. Specific dislocation-surface interactions are discussed including the nucleation and multiplication of dislocations and the development of slip bands. Experimental data illustrating these interactions are presented. The effect of the surface on macroscopic mechanical properties is then discussed in terms of the basic consequences of surface existence. Size effects on yield stress and work hardening are included. The fracture properties of metals are shown to depend on the geometrical nature of the surface as initially prepared or as changed by plastic deformation. The effects of local stress concentrations on the nucleation of fatigue cracks are discussed and illustrated with experimental data. Finally, it is shown how fracture properties may be changed by altering certain surface properties with coatings or diffusion layers.


Fatigue Crack Slip Band Surface Slip Dislocation Loop Image Force 


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Copyright information

© Syracuse University Press Syracuse, New York 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Grosskreutz
    • 1
  • D. K. Benson
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Applied Research on MaterialsMidwest Research InstituteKansas CityUSA

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