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.
R.M. Brannon, A.F. Fossum, and O.E. Strack
Kayenta continuous yield surface. (a) three-dimensional view in principal stress space, (b) the meridional “side” view (thick line), and (c) the octahedral view
The physical foundations and domain of applicability of the Kayenta constitutive model are presented along with descriptions of the source code and user instructions. Kayenta, which is an outgrowth of the Sandia GeoModel, includes features and fitting functions appropriate to a broad class of materials including rocks, rock-like engineered materials (such as concretes and ceramics),and metals. Fundamentally, Kayenta is a computational framework for generalized plasticity models. As such, it includes a yield surface, but the term“yield” is generalized to include any form of inelastic material response including microcrack growth and pore collapse. Kayenta supports optional anisotropic elasticity associated with ubiquitous joint sets. Kayenta support optional deformation-induced anisotropy through kinematic hardening (inwhich the initially isotropic yield surface is permitted to translate in deviatoric stress space to model Bauschinger effects). The governing equations are otherwise isotropic. Because Kayenta is a unification and generalization of simple models, it can be run using as few as 2 parameters (for linear elasticity) to as many as 40 material and control parameters in the exceptionally rare case when all features are used. For high-strain-rate applications, Kayenta support rate dependence through an overstress model. Isotropic damage is model through loss of stiffness and strength.
R.M. Brannon and S. Leelavanichkul
RHT Model: Contour plots of damage: side, front, and back view of the target (top to bottom).
Four conventional damage plasticity models for concrete, the Karagozian and Case model (K&C),the Riedel-Hiermaier-Thoma model (RHT), the Brannon-Fossum model (BF1), and the Continuous Surface Cap Model (CSCM) are compared. The K&C and RHT models have been used in commercial finite element programs many years, whereas the BF1 and CSCM models are relatively new. All four models are essentially isotropic plasticity models for which plasticity is regarded as any form of inelasticity. All of the models support nonlinear elasticity, but with different formulations.All four models employ three shear strength surfaces. The yield surface bounds an evolving set of elastically obtainable stress states. The limit surface bounds stress states that can be reached by any means (elastic or plastic). To model softening, it is recognized that some stress states might be reached once, but, because of irreversible damage, might not be achievable again. In other words, softening is the process of collapse of the limit surface, ultimately down to a final residual surface for fully failed material. The four models being compared differ in their softening evolution equations, as well as in their equations used to degrade the elastic stiffness. For all four models, the strength surfaces are cast in stress space. For all four models, it is recognized that scale effects are important for softening, but the models differ significantly in their approaches. The K&C documentation, for example, mentions that a particular material parameter affecting the damage evolution rate must be set by the user according to the mesh size to preserve energy to failure. Similarly, the BF1 model presumes that all material parameters are set to values appropriate to the scale of the element, and automated assignment of scale-appropriate values is available only through an enhanced implementation of BF1 (called BFS) that regards scale effects to be coupled to statistical variability of material properties. The RHT model appears to similarly support optional uncertainty and automated settings for scale-dependent material parameters. The K&C, RHT, and CSCM models support rate dependence by allowing the strength to be a function of strain rate, whereas the BF1 model uses Duvaut-Lion viscoplasticity theory to give a smoother prediction of transient effects. During softening, all four models require a certain amount of strain to develop before allowing significant damage accumulation. For the K&C, RHT, and CSCM models, the strain-to-failure is tied to fracture energy release, whereas a similar effect is achieved indirectly in the BF1 model by a time-based criterion that is tied to crack propagation speed.
R. M. Brannon and S. Leelavanichkul
Octahedral isosurfaces for a) the unacceptable, b) the admissible, and c) the admissible
Classical plasticity and damage models for porous quasi-brittle media usually suffer from mathematical defects such as non-convergence and nonuniqueness.Yield or damage functions for porous quasi-brittle media often have yield functions with contours so distorted that following those contours to the yield surface in a return algorithm can take the solution to a false elastic domain. A steepest-descent return algorithm must include iterative corrections; otherwise,the solution is non-unique because contours of any yield function are non-unique. A multi-stage algorithm has been developed to address both spurious convergence and non-uniqueness, as well as to improve efficiency. The region of pathological isosurfaces is masked by first returning the stress state to the Drucker–Prager surface circumscribing the actual yield surface. From there, steepest-descent is used to locate a point on the yield surface. This first-stage solution,which is extremely efficient because it is applied in a 2D subspace, is generally not the correct solution,but it is used to estimate the correct return direction.The first-stage solution is projected onto the estimated correct return direction in 6D stress space. Third invariant dependence and anisotropy are accommodated in this second-stage correction. The projection operation introduces errors associated with yield surface curvature,so the two-stage iteration is applied repeatedly to converge. Regions of extremely high curvature are detected and handled separately using an approximation to vertex theory. The multi-stage return is applied holding internal variables constant to produce a non-hardening solution. To account for hardening from pore collapse (or softening from damage), geometrical arguments are used to clearly illustrate the appropriate scaling of the non-hardening solution needed to obtain the hardening (or softening) solution.
For errata (transcription errors in two of the verification solutions), please see: