Slip System

Definition - What does Slip System mean?

A slip system refers to a metallurgical occurrence when deformation planes are formed on a metal's surface or its intergranular boundaries due to applied forces. It is the primary criteria for plastic deformation in a material, which may make it more susceptible to failure or corrosion.

Corrosionpedia explains Slip System

Slip systems are vital for deformation in a metal to occur. The application of shear stress along the length of an object causes crystal lattices to glide along each other and form slip systems. Slip systems are unique to the lattice where they are present.

Slip planes are the planes with the highest density of atoms. Slip systems are also unidirectional. The direction that slip planes present correspond to the smallest lattice translation vectors in the system.

There are three types of slip systems:

  • Face-centered cubic (FCC) slip: presents 12 systems and includes metals like copper, aluminum, nickel and silver.
  • Body-centered cubic (BCC) slip: presents 48 slip systems and includes a wide range of metal alloys.
  • Hexagonal close packed (HCP) slip: presents much less BCC and FCC crystal structures.
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