MRS Communications

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Possible self-organized criticality in the Portevin–Le Chatelier effect during decomposition of solid solution alloys

Nguyen Q. Chinha1 c1, Tivadar Győria1, Jenő Gubiczaa1, János Lendvaia1 and Terence G. Langdona2

a1 Department of Materials Physics, Eötvös University Budapest, 1117 Budapest, Pázmany P. sétány 1/A, Hungary

a2 Departments of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1453; Materials Research Group, School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK


Spatial fluctuations of the microstructure suggest possible self-organized criticality in the Portevin–Le Chatelier plastic instability occurring in age-hardenable alloys. The discontinuous yielding found in a supersaturated Al alloy can be characterized by a universal power-law spectrum that is independent of the experimental conditions. The result provides an explanation for the formation of unexpected detrimental strain localizations when samples are severely deformed, giving a framework for studying the simultaneous effects of solute atoms and precipitates in the decomposition of solid solutions.

(Received September 03 2011)

(Accepted December 15 2011)


c1 Address all correspondence to Nguyen Q. Chinh at