The applicability of two familiar analytic descriptions of micromechanical deformation as equations of state for polycrystalline iron is discussed. These equations are the power law and the relationship based on reaction rate theory. It is shown that the reaction rate description fails to describe adequately individual stress relaxation events without invoking undue complexity from use of adjustable parameters. Moreover, even in that case, this formulation lacks the predictive capability required in an equation of state. Conversely, the power law is found not only to describe stress relaxation data properly but also to provide the capability of predicting stress relaxation following initial deformation by different loading paths. It thus appears to represent an equation of state for the material.

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