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The literature on the strengthening effects of surface films on metal monocrystals (termed the “Roscoe effect”) has been reviewed. Available data show that the effect cannot be explained in terms of the strength of the film itself; rather, an interaction between the film and the crystal surface must be involved. New data confirming this viewpoint are presented. X-ray diffraction measurements of the distortions at the surface of zinc crystals were made. The measurements showed that a copper film (∼1000 Å thick) caused a marked increase in the surface distortion that occurs when a crystal is pulled in tension. It is concluded that the Roscoe effect is caused by the inhibiting effect that a surface film has on the exit of slip from a crystal. The effect that a film might have on the generation of slip on the surface is not believed to be an important factor.
Gilman, John J.
General Electric Co., Schenectady, New York