What is Strain Hardening?

  • Phenomenon where ductile metals become stronger and harder when they  are deformed plastically is called strain hardening or work hardening. 
  • Increasing temperature lowers the rate of strain hardening. Hence materials are strain hardened at low temperatures, thus also called cold working. 
  • During plastic deformation, dislocation density increases. And thus their interaction with each other resulting in increase in yield stress. 
  • Strain hardening (work hardening) is the reason for the elastic recovery. 
  • The reason for strain hardening is that the dislocation density increases with plastic deformation (cold work) due to multiplication. 
  • The average distance between dislocations then decreases and dislocations start blocking the motion of each one

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