Nonaffine displacements and the nonlinear response of a strained amorphous solid

S Saw and S Abraham and P Harrowell, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 94, 022606 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.94.022606

We demonstrate that irreversible structural reorganization is not necessary for the observation of yield behavior in an amorphous solid. While the majority of solids strained to their yield point do indeed undergo an irreversible reorganization, we find that a significant fraction of solids exhibits yield via a reversible strain. We also demonstrate that large instantaneous strains in excess of the yield stress can result in complete stress relaxation, a result of the large nonaffine motions driven by the applied strain. The empirical similarity of the dependence of the ratio of stress over strain on the nonaffine mean-square displacement to that for the shear modulus obtained from quiescent liquid at nonzero temperature supports the proposition that rigidity depends on the size of the sampled configurational space only and is insensitive to how this space is sampled.

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