The zero-to-tension ratchetting behavior was investigated under uniaxial loading at room temperature and at 550, 600, and 650°C. In History I the maximum stress level of ratchetting was equal to the stress reached in a tensile test at one percent strain. For History II the maximum stress level was established as the stress reached after a 2100 s relaxation at one percent strain. Significant ratchetting was observed for History I at room temperature but not at the elevated temperatures. The accumulated ratchet strain increases with decreasing stress rate. Independent of the stress rates used insignificant ratchet strain was observed at room temperature for History II. This observation is explained in the context of the viscoplasticity theory based on overstress by the exhaustion of the viscous contribution to the stress during relaxation. The viscous part of the stress is the driving force for the ratchetting in History I. Strain aging is presumably responsible for the lack of short-time inelastic deformation resulting in a nearly rate-independent behavior at the elevated temperatures.

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