Publication: Initial inclusion of thermodynamic considerations in Kayenta

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 [1] (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.

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Publication: Decomposition and Visualization of Fourth-Order Elastic-Plastic Tensors

A.G. Neeman; R.M. Brannon; B. Jeremic; A. Van Gelderand;  A. Pang

Top view (Z from above) of eigentensors for Drucker-Prager material, time step 124, colored by minimum stretch eigenvalue.

Visualization of fourth-order tensors from solid mechanics has not been explored in depth previously. Challenges include the large number of components (3x3x3x3 for 3D), loss of major symmetry and loss of positive definiteness(with possibly zero or negative eigenvalues). This paper presents a decomposition of fourth-order tensors that facilitates their visualization and understanding. Fourth-order tensors are used to represent a solid’s stiffness.The stiffness tensor represents the relationship between increments of stress and increments of strain. Visualizing stiffness is important to understand the changing state of solids during plastification and failure. In this work,we present a method to reduce the number of stiffness components to second-order 3×3 tensors for visualization.The reduction is based on polar decomposition, followed by eigen-decomposition on the polar “stretch”. If any resulting eigenvalue is significantly lower than the others, the material has softened in that eigen-direction. The associated second-order eigentensor represents the mode of stress (such as compression, tension, shear, or some combination of these) to which the material becomes vulnerable. Thus we can visualize the physical meaning of plastification with techniques for visualizing second-order symmetric tensors.

Available Online:



Powder metal jet penetration into stressed rock

The Uintah computational framework (UCF) has been adopted for simulation of shaped charge jet penetration and subsequent damage to geological formations.  The Kayenta geomechanics model, as well as a simplified model for shakedown simulations has been  incorporated within the UCF and is undergoing extensive development to enhance it to account for fluid in pore space.

A generic penetration simulation using Uintah

The host code (Uintah) itself has been enhanced to accommodate  material variability and scale effects. Simulations have been performed that import flash X-ray data for the velocity and geometry of a particulated metallic jet so that uncertainty about the jet can be reduced to develop predictive models for target response.  Uintah’s analytical polar decomposition has been replaced with an iterative algorithm to dramatically improve accuracy under large deformations. Continue reading

Verification Research: The method of manufactured solutions (MMS)

MMS stands for “Method of Manufactured Solutions,” which is a rather sleazy sounding name for what is actually a respected and rigorous method of verifying that a finite element (or other) code is correctly solving the governing equations.

A simple introduction to MMS may be found on page 11 of The ASME guide for verification and validation in solid mechanics. The basic idea is to analytically determine forcing functions that would lead to a specific, presumably nontrivial, solution (of your choice) for the dependent variable of a differential equation.  Then you would verify a numerical solver for that differential equation by running it using your analytically determined forcing function.  The difference between the code’s prediction and your selected manufactured solution provides a quantitative measure of error.

Continue reading

Publication: Conjugate stress and strain caveats /w distortion and deformation distinction

The publication, “Caveats concerning conjugate stress and strain measures (click to download)” contains an analytical solution for the stress in a fiber reinforced composite in the limit as the matrix material goes to zero stiffness. Because the solution is exact for arbitrarily large deformations, it is a great test case for verification of anisotropic elasticity codes, and it nicely illustrates several subtle concepts in large-deformation continuum mechanics.


Also see related viewgraphs entitled “The distinction between large distortion and large deformation.”

Tutorial: Mohr's Circle

A self-study refresher with interesting tidbits such as Pole Point and how to do Mohr’s circle for nonsymmetric matrices — very useful for quickly doing a polar decomposition! (Last posted 2003, but considerable work has been performed recently to incorporate Mohr’s circle as part of the opensource VTK for visualization in finite element simulations).

You may download the rest of the document here.