Constitutive modeling refers to the development of equations describing the way that materials respond to various stimuli. In classical deformable body mechanics, a simple constitutive model might predict the stress required to induce a given strain; the canonical example is Hooke’s law of isotropic linear elasticity. More broadly, a constitutive model predicts increments in some macroscale state variables of interest (such as stress, entropy, polarization, etc.) that arise from changes in other macroscale state variables (strain, temperature, electric field, etc.).
Constitutive equations are ultimately implemented into a finite element code to close the set of equations required to solve problems of practical interest. This course describes a few common constitutive equations, explaining what features you would see in experimental data or structural behavior that would prompt you to select one constitutive model over another, how to use them in a code, how to test your understanding of the model, how to check if the code is applying the model as advertised in its user’s manual, and how to quantitatively assess the mathematical and physical believability of the solution.
A plot of the frequency-dependent wave propagation velocity for the case study problem with an overlocal plasticity model, with the elastic and local hardening wave speeds shown for reference (left). Stress histories using an overlocal plasticity model with a nonlocal length scale of 1m and a mesh resolution of 0.125m (right)
The following series of three articles (with common authors J. Burghardt and R. Brannon of the University of Utah) describes a state of insufficient experimental validation of conventional formulations of nonassociative plasticity (AKA nonassociated and non-normality). This work provides a confirmation that such models theoretically admit negative net work in closed strain cycles, but this simple prediction has never been validated or disproved in the laboratory!
- An early (mostly failed) attempt at experimental investigation of unvalidated plasticity assumptions (click to view),
- A simple case study confirming that nonassociativity can cause non-unique and unstable solutions to wave motion problems (click to view),
- An extensive study showing that features like rate dependence, hardening, etc. do not eliminate the instability and also showing that it is NOT related to conventional localization (click to view).
Measure of anisotropy for Zircon, Quartz, Uranium, Titanium, Hornblende, and Copper.
T. Fuller and R.M. Brannon
In general, thermodynamic admissibility requires isotropic materials develop reversible deformation induced anisotropy (RDIA) in their elastic stiffnesses. Taking the elastic potential for an isotropic material to be a function of the strain invariants, isotropy of the elastic stiffness is possible under distortional loading if and only if the bulk modulus is independent of the strain deviator and the shear modulus is constant. Previous investigations of RDIA have been limited to applications in geomechanics where material non-linearityand large deformations are commonly observed. In the current paper, the degree of RDIA in other materials is investigated. It is found that the resultant anisotropy in materials whose strength does not vary appreciably with pressure, such as metals, is negligible, but in materials whose strength does vary with pressure, the degree of RDIA can be significant. Algorithms for incorporating RDIA in a classical elastic–plastic model are provided.
Tough disk impacting brittle disk
Below are links to two simulations of disks colliding. The first is elastic and the second uses a fracture model with spatially variable strength based on a scale-dependent Weibull realization. Both take advantage of the automatic contact property of the MPM.
WeibConstMovie: disks colliding without fracture
WeibPerturbedGood: disks colliding with heterogeneous fracture
This basic capability to support statistically variable strength in a damage model has been extended to the Kayenta plasticity model in Uintah.
K. Kamojjala, R. M. Brannon (2011)
Snapshot of the deformation in time
The principle of material frame indifference require spatial stresses to rotate with the material, whereas reference stresses must be insensitive to rotation. Testing of a classical uniaxial strain problem with superimposed rotation reveals that a very common approach to strong incremental objectivity taken in finite element codes to satisfy frame indifference(namely working in an approximate un-rotated frame) fails this simplistic test. A more complicated verification example is constructed based on the method of manufactured solutions (MMS) which involves the same character of loading at all points, providing a means to test any nonlinear-elastic arbitrarily anisotropic constitutive model.
T.J. Fuller, R.M. Brannon, O.E. Strack, J.E. Bishop
Displacement profile for Thermo-Kayenta at the end of the simulation. the red dots represent the experimental profiles
A persistent challenge in simulating damage of natural geological materials, as well as rock-like engineered materials, is the development of efficient and accurate constitutive models.The common feature for these brittle and quasi-brittle materials are the presence of flaws such as porosity and network of microcracks. The desired models need to be able to predict the material responses over a wide range of porosities and strain rate. Kayenta  (formerly called the Sandia GeoModel) is a unifi ed general-purpose constitutive model that strikes a balance between rst-principles micromechanics and phenomenological or semi-empirical modeling strategies. However, despite its sophistication and ability to reduce to several classical plasticity theories, Kayenta is incapable of modeling deformation of ductile materials in which deformation is dominated by dislocation generation and movement which can lead to signi cant heating. This stems from Kayenta’s roots as a geological model, where heating due to inelastic deformation is often neglected or presumed to be incorporated implicitly through the elastic moduli.The sophistication of Kayenta and its large set of extensive features, however, make Kayenta an attractive candidate model to which thermal eff ects can be added. This report outlines the initial work in doing just that, extending the capabilities of Kayenta to include deformation of ductile materials, for which thermal e ffects cannot be neglected. Thermal e ffects are included based on an assumption of adiabatic loading by computing the bulk and thermal responses of the material with the Kerley Mie-Gruneisen equation of state and adjusting the yield surface according to the updated thermal state. This new version of Kayenta, referred to as Thermo-Kayenta throughout this report, is capable of reducing to classical Johnson-Cook plasticity in special case single element simulations and has been used to obtain reasonable results in more complicated Taylor impact simulations in LS-Dyna. Despite these successes, however, Thermo-Kayenta requires additional re nement for it to be consistent in the thermodynamic sense and for it to be considered superior to other, more mature thermoplastic models. The initial thermal development, results, and required refinements are all detailed in the following report.