A constitutive equation of cyclic strain softening for materials with low internal stress levels was derived from the rate equation. The study showed that cyclic strain softening is associated with stress relaxation and that the two phenomena are parallel over a high stress and low temperature range where thermally activated plastic flow in the two processes can be approximated with activation over a single energy barrier. The constitutive parameters were identical in both processes, leading to the recommendation that stress relaxation can be employed to determine the experimental variables for the understanding of the cyclic softening process.

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