The purpose of this work is to explore nonuniform plastic flow at small length- and time-scales. Pure single crystal copper tensile specimens were pulled along the [6¯56] crystal axis at three nominal strain-rates: 0.01%/s, 0.04%/s, and 0.10%/s. Simultaneously, the surface deformation was monitored with in situ digital image correlation over a length-scale of 100μm and a time-scale of 0.07–0.2 s. Sequential digital image correlation strain-rate fields show compelling evidence of a wavelike plastic deformation that is proportional to the nominal strain-rate and decelerates with increasing strain hardening. While a mechanism responsible for the waves is not identified, a methodology correlating observations of multiple researchers is forwarded.

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