Uintah Simulations of Perforation Experiments


ABSTRACT: A simulation of a simple penetration experiment is performed using Material Point Method (MPM) through the Uintah Computational Framework (UCF) and interpreted using the post-processing visualization program VisIt. MPM formatting sets a background mesh with explicit boundaries and monitors the interaction of particles within that mesh to predict the varying movements and orientations of a material in response to loads. The modeled experiment compares the effects of an aluminum sphere impacting an aluminum sheet at varying velocities. In this work, the experiment called launch T-1428 (by Piekutowski and Poorman) is simulated using UCF and VisIt. The two materials in the experiment are both simulated using a hypoelastic-plastic model. Varying grid resolutions were used to verify the convergent behavior of the simulations to the experimental results. The validity of the simulation is quantified by comparing perforation hole diameter. A full 3-D simulation followed and was also compared to experimental results. Results and issues in both 2-D and 3-D simulation efforts are discussed. Both the axisymmetric and 3-D simulation results provided very good data with clear convergent behavior.

See the link below for the full report.

Experiment in Uintah

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Abstract: Deformation and Fracture of Heterogeneous Media using Boundary-Conforming Convected Particle Characteristic Functions in the Material Point Method

This is an abstract for

NWU2013: Advances in Computational Mechanics with Emphasis on Fracture and Multiscale Phenomena. Workshop honoring Professor Ted Belytschko’s 70th Birthday.  April 18, 2013 – April 20, 2013, Evanston, IL, USA

The organizers allocated only 10 minutes for each person’s talk (including big wigs like Tom Hughes), so we might just present this topic in the form of a puppet show with enough information to tickle the audience to chat with us about it in the hallway!


Rebecca Brannon*, Alireza Sadeghirad,  James Guilkey

Department of Mechanical Engineering

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT, 84112

*Email: Rebecca.Brannon@utah.edu

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PUBLICATION: Influence of nonclassical plasticity features on shock wave existence and spectral solutions

A scanned copy is available here.

ABSTRACT (from OCR so has some typos): The influence of non-classical elastic-plastic constitutive features on dynamically moving discontinuities in stress, strain, and material velocity is investigated. Non-classical behavior here includes non-normality of the plastic strain increment to the yield surface, plastic compressibility, pressure sensitivity of yield, and dependence of the elastic moduli on plastic strain. DRUGAN and SHEN’s (1987) analysis of dynamically moving discontinuities with strain as well as stress jumps in classical materials is shown to be valid for a broad class of non-associative material models until deviation from normality exceeds a critical (non-infinitesimal) level. For these non-classical materials, an inequality that bounds the magnitude of the stress jump is derived, which is information not obtainable from a standard spectral analysis of a shock. For the special case of stress discontinuities with continuous strain, or for quasi-static deformations, this inequality is shown to rule out jumps in specific projections of the stress tensor unless the non-normality is sufficiently large. These results invalidate a … claim in the literature that an infinitesimal amount of non-normality permits moving surfaces of discontinuity in stress (with no strain jump) near the tip of a dynamically advancing crack tip.

Using a very general plastic constitutive law that subsumes most non-classical (and classical) descriptions currently in use, a complete closed-form solution is obtained for the plastic wave speeds and eigenvectors. A novel feature of the analysis is the clarity and completeness of the solutions. If the elastic part of the response is isotropic, one plastic wave speed equals the elastic shear wave speed, while the other two possible wave speeds depend in general on the stress and plastic strain within the shock transition layer. Concise necessary and sufficient conditions for real eigenvalues and for vanishing eigenvalues are derived. The real eigenvalues are classified by numerical sign and ordering relative to the elastic eigenvalues. The geometric multiplicity of plastic eigenvectors associated with elastic eigenvalues is shown to depend on the stress state within the shock transition layer. These solutions, several of which hold for arbitrary elastic anisotropy, are also applicable to acceleration waves and localization problems, and to materials with dependence of the elastic moduli on plastic strain. Such elastic–plastic coupling is shown to imply a non-self-adjoint fourth order tangent stiffness tensor even if the plastic constitutive law is associative.

A scanned copy is available here.

Conference Poster: Scaled surrogate Hertzian bearing pairs for contact and wear testing

Contact pressures

Sanders, A. P., and R. M. Brannon. (2012). “ Scaled surrogate Hertzian bearing pairs for contact and wear testing.” Transactions of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2012 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Feb. 4-7, Poster 2070. 2012 ORS poster 01 small


New implant bearing materials require extensive laboratory testing before clinical use, but the currently practiced contact and wear test methods impose limitations. Screening wear tests of prototype materials are typically done using simple bearing shapes (such as a ball-on-flat pair) and low loads. These tests are relatively simple and inexpensive, but they lack representative bearing shapes and contact stresses. Simulator wear tests on full-scale components overcome this shortcoming by implementing higher loads and complex, physiologic motion patterns. However, these tests are lengthy and expensive; so, they are reserved for final design testing. Surrogate test specimens that would mimic the contact mechanics of full-scale bearing pairs could improve the relevance of early screening tests. This research examines the hypothesis that a reduced-scale surrogate Hertzian contact pair can elicit a smaller scale, equal stress version of the contact response of a larger original contact pair. A chosen original contact pair mimics a knee implant femoral-tibial condylar interface, and a full-scale surrogate pair is found using recently published formulas. New formulas were derived to find a smaller version of the surrogate pair. The contact pairs were tested in quasi-static normal loading, and their contact patches were measured to evaluate the hypothesis.


Conference Poster: Modeling, Testing, and Analysis of Impulse Response of Femoral Head Reduction in Ceramic Hip Prostheses

Kakarla, D., A. P. Sanders, S. Siskey, K. Ong, N. Ames, J. O. Ochoa, and R. M. Brannon. (2012). “Modeling, Testing, and Analysis of Impulse Response of Femoral Head Reduction in Ceramic Hip Prostheses.” Transactions of the Orthopaedic Research Society 2012 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Feb. 4-7, Poster 2076.


Hip simulator wear tests including micro-separation conditions have revealed that abnormal loading events can outweigh normal loading conditions in causing wear of hard-on-hard bearings. Yet, there is a paucity of data to describe the mechanics of abnormal events such as edge loading by femoral neck impingement or femoral head subluxation. Though the magnitude of head subluxation has been measured in-vivo for a variety of human activities, there are apparently no corresponding reports of the concurrent head-liner contact forces; accurate measurements of the same may be rendered difficult by the transient, impulsive nature of edge loading. This report provides initial laboratory results of an in-vitro and in-silico study of impulsive femoral head reduction whose ultimate aim is to quantify dynamic edge-loading contact forces and stresses. The study implements an engineering model of proximal-lateral head subluxation and edge loading as could occur in a lax hip during the swing phase of gait. Rapid reduction is caused by applying a sudden cranio-caudal motion to the acetabular liner. In the laboratory, the femur’s response to this input is measured with strain gages and a laser vibrometer.


Publication: Concomitant evolution of wear and squeaking in dual-severity, lubricated wear testing of ceramic-on-ceramic hip prostheses.

Spectral analysis of ceramic hip squeaking

Sanders, A., I. Tibbitts, and R. Brannon. (2012). “Concomitant evolution of wear and squeaking in dual-severity, lubricated wear testing of ceramic-on-ceramic hip prostheses.” Journal of Orthopaedic Research: DOI 10.1002/jor.22080.



Ceramic-on-ceramic (CoC) hip bearings were tested in short-term wear tests with a systematically varied contact force. Continuous vibration and intermittent surface roughness measurements were obtained to elucidate potential causes of in vivo hip joint squeaking. The three-phase test comprised alternating cycles of edge loading (EL) and concentric articulation (CA), always using ample serum lubricant. A 50,000-cycle wear trial in which the contact force during CA was distant from the head’s wear patch yielded no squeaking and practically no liner roughening. In 10-cycle trials of an edge-worn head coupled with a pristine liner, the contact force was varied in magnitude and point of application; immediate, recurrent squeaking occurred only when the contact force exceeded a critical threshold value and was centered upon the head’s wear patch. In a 27,000-cycle wear trial with the contact force applied near the margin of the head’s wear patch, recurrent squeaking emerged progressively as the liner’s inner surface was roughened via its articulation with the worn portion of the head. The results reveal key conditions that yield recurrent squeaking in vitro in various scenarios without resorting to implausible dry conditions. A fundamental theory explains that hip squeaking is induced by myriad stress waves emanating from asperity collisions; yet, the root cause is edge loading.

Available online:



Publication: Thin Hard Crest on the Edge of Ceramic Acetabular Liners Accelerates Wear in Edge Loading.

Sanders, A. P., P. J. Dudhiya, and R. M. Brannon. (2012). “Thin Hard Crest on the Edge of Ceramic Acetabular Liners Accelerates Wear in Edge Loading.” Journal of Arthroplasty 27(1): 150-152.


Ceramic acetabular liners may exhibit a small, sharp crest—an artifact of discontinuous machining steps—at the junction between the concave spherical surface and the interior edge. On 3 ceramic liners, this crest was found to form a 9° to 11° deviation from tangency. Edge loading wear tests were conducted directly on this crest and on a smoother region of the edge. The crest elicited 2 to 15 times greater volumetric wear on the femoral head. The propensity of the crest to rapidly (<2000 wear cycles) cause elevated wear under low contact force (200 N) suggests that the crest artifact of prevailing machining protocols might be a root cause of stripe wear and squeaking in ceramic acetabular bearings.

Available online:



Aldridge (AKA Blake) spherical source verification test for dynamic continuum codes

This post has the following aims:

  • Provide documentation and source code for a spherically symmetric wave propagation in a linear-elastic medium.
  • Tell a story illustrating how this simple verification problem helped to validate a complicated rate-dependent and history-dependent geomechanics model.
  • Warn against believing previously reported material parameters, since they might have been the result of constitutive parameter tweaking to compensate for unrelated errors in the host code. Continue reading

Publication: A model for statistical variation of fracture properties in a continuum mechanics code

NEWS FLASH: The print version of the Meyer-Brannon paper on statistical variation of fracture patterns in a continuum code (CTH) is now available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2010.09.007.

Perforation with Aleatory Uncertainty

Perforation with Aleatory Uncertainty of high-pressure strength in an Eulerian Simulation.

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