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Dislocation multiplication in stage II deformation of fcc multi-slip single crystals
Dislocation multiplication in plasticity research is often connected to the picture of a Frank-Read source. Although it is known that this picture is not applicable after easy glide deformation, plasticity theories often assume Frank-Read-type models for dislocation multiplication. By analyzing discrete dislocation dynamics simulations in a bulk like setting, a new view on dislocation multiplication is presented. It is observed that only two mechanisms provide a source for dislocations: cross-slip and glissile junctions. Both source mechanisms involve a change of glide system and transfer of dislocation density (line length) from the primary dislocation(s) slip system(s) to the one of the new dislocation. The motion of dislocations is found to be highly restricted by other dislocations and therefore the contribution to plastic deformation of each individual dislocation is small. Also a substantial fraction of the physical dislocation line length is annihilated by the collinear reaction, lowering dislocation storage during plastic deformation. Furthermore, multiplication events involve the loss of a substantial amount of dislocation length and curvature (sudden changes in line orientation) due to the topology changes in the dislocation network of the respective mechanisms. The findings are discussed in light of continuum dislocation theories, which currently barely account for dislocation density transfer to other systems and the limited contribution of plastic strain from individual dislocations.