Real materials often contain already in the initial state a multitude of defects such as microcracks or voids. In the course of a deformation process these internal cavities may grow and coalesce while at the same time further material separation takes place by the creation of new microdefects at stress concentrators (e.g. inclusions, grain boundaries, inhomogeneities). This causes a change of the macroscopic properties of the material and its strength decreases.
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