Research: Instability of *ANY* nonassociative plasticity model

The CSM group has independently confirmed  a case study demonstrating the truth of a claim in the literature that any non-associative rate-independent model admits a non-physical dynamic achronistity instability. By stimulating a non-associative material in the “Sandler-Rubin wedge” (above yield but below the flow surface), plastic waves are generated that travel faster than elastic waves, thus introducing a negative net work in a closed strain cycle that essentially feeds energy into a propagating wave to produce unbounded increases in displacement with time.

Sandler-Rubin instability: an infinitesimal pulse grows as it propagates

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Nonclassical plasticity validation

Analysis and computations have been performed by the Utah CSM group to support experimental investigations of unvalidated assumptions in plasticity theory. The primary untested assumption is that of a regular flow rule in which it is often assumed that the direction of the inelastic strain increment is unaffected by the total strain increment itself. To support laboratory testing of this hypothesis, the general equations of classical plasticity theory were simplified for the case of axisymmetric loading to provide experimentalists with two-parameter control of the axial and lateral stress increments corresponding to a specified loading trajectory in stress space. Loading programs involving changes in loading directions were designed. New methods for analyzing the data via a moving least squares fit to tensor-valued input-output data were used to quantitatively infer the apparent plastic tangent modulus matrix and thereby detect violations of the regular flow rule. Loading programs were designed for validating isotropic cap hardening models by directly measuring the effect of shear loading on the hydrostatic elastic limit.

UofU Contributors/collaborators:
Michael Braginski (postdoc, Mech. Engr., UofU)
Jeff Burghardt (PhD student, Mech. Engr., UofU)

External collaborators/mentors:
Stephen Bauer (Manager, Sandia National Labs geomechanics testing lab)
David Bronowski (Sandia geomechanics lab technician)
Erik Strack (Manager, Sandia Labs Computational Physics)

Publication: On a viscoplastic model for rocks with mechanism-dependent characteristic times

A.F. Fossum and R.M. Brannon (2006)

This paper summarizes the results of a theoretical and experimental program at Sandia National Laboratories aimed at identifying and modeling key physical features of rocks and rock-like materials at the laboratory scale over a broad range of strain rates. The mathematical development of a constitutive model is discussed and model predictions versus experimental data are given for a suite of laboratory tests. Concurrent pore collapse and cracking at the microscale are seen as competitive micromechanisms that give rise to the well-known macroscale phenomenon of a transition from volumetric compaction to dilatation under quasistatic triaxial compression. For high-rate loading, this competition between pore collapse and microcracking also seems to account for recently identified differences in strain-rate sensitivity between uniaxial-strain ‘‘plate slap’’ data compared to uniaxial-stress Kolsky bar data. A description is given of how this work supports ongoing efforts to develop a predictive capability in simulating deformation and failure of natural geological materials, including those that contain structural features such as joints and other spatial heterogeneities.

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Publication: Experimental Assessment of Unvalidated Assumptions in Classical Plasticity Theory

Abstract: This report investigates the validity of several key assumptions in classical plasticity theory regarding material response to changes in the loading direction. Three metals, two rock types, and one ceramic were subjected to non-standard loading directions, and the resulting strain response increments were displayed in Gudehus diagrams to illustrate the approximation error of classical plasticity theories. A rigorous mathematical framework for fitting classical theories to the data, thus quantifying the error, is provided. Further data analysis techniques are presented that allow testing for the effect of changes in loading direction without having to use a new sample and for inferring the yield normal and flow directions without having to measure the yield surface. Though the data are inconclusive, there is indication that classical, incrementally linear, plasticity theory may be inadequate over a certain range of loading directions. This range of loading directions also coincides with loading directions that are known to produce a physically inadmissible instability for any nonassociative plasticity model.

You may download the full report here.