Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Ductile and Brittle Yielding in Thermal and Athermal Amorphous Materials

Barlow, Hugh J.; Cochran, James O.; Fielding, Suzanne M.

Ductile and Brittle Yielding in Thermal and Athermal Amorphous Materials Thumbnail


Hugh J. Barlow

James Cochran
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy


We study theoretically the yielding of sheared amorphous materials as a function of increasing levels of initial sample annealing prior to shear, in three widely used constitutive models and three widely studied annealing protocols. In thermal systems we find a gradual progression, with increasing annealing, from smoothly “ductile” yielding, in which the sample remains homogeneous, to abruptly “brittle” yielding, in which it becomes strongly shear banded. This progression arises from an increase with annealing in the size of an overshoot in the underlying stress-strain curve for homogeneous shear, which causes a shear banding instability that becomes more severe with increasing annealing. Ductile and brittle yielding thereby emerge as two limiting cases of a continuum of yielding transitions, from gradual to catastrophic. In contrast, athermal systems with a stress overshoot always show brittle yielding at low shear rates, however small the overshoot.


Barlow, H. J., Cochran, J. O., & Fielding, S. M. (2020). Ductile and Brittle Yielding in Thermal and Athermal Amorphous Materials. Physical Review Letters, 125(16), Article 168003.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 9, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 15, 2020
Publication Date 2020-10
Deposit Date Oct 28, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 28, 2020
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 125
Issue 16
Article Number 168003


Published Journal Article (4 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations