Course offering: ME 7960 (special topics) Computational Constitutive Modeling

Third invariant yield surface with uncertainty

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.

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Publication: Uniaxial and Triaxial Compression Tests of Silicon Carbide Ceramics under Quasi-static Loading Condition

M.Y. Lee, R.M. Brannon and D.R. Bronowski

Explosive failure of the SICN-UC02 specimen (12.7 mm in diameter and 25.4 mm in length) subjected to the unconfined uniaxial compressive stress condition

To establish mechanical properties and failure criteria of silicon carbide (SiC-N) ceramics, a series of quasi-static compression tests has been completed using a high-pressure vessel and a unique sample alignment jig.  This report summarizes the test methods, set-up, relevant observations, and results from the constitutive experimental efforts. Combining these quasistatic triaxial compression strength measurements with existing data at higher pressures naturally results in different values for the least-squares fit to this function, appropriate over a broader pressure range. These triaxial compression tests are significant because they constitute the first successful measurements of SiC-N compressive strength under quasistatic conditions. Having an unconfined compressive strength of ~3800 MPa, SiC-N has been heretofore tested only under dynamic conditions to achieve a sufficiently large load to induce failure. Obtaining reliable quasi-static strength measurements has required design of a special alignment jig and loadspreader assembly, as well as redundant gages to ensure alignment. When considered in combination with existing dynamic strength measurements, these data significantly advance the characterization of pressure-dependence of strength, which is important for penetration simulations where failed regions are often at lower pressures than intact regions.

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Publications: Nonuniqueness and instability of classical formulations of nonassociative plasticity

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!

  1. An early (mostly failed) attempt at experimental investigation of unvalidated plasticity assumptions (click to view),
  2. A simple case study confirming that nonassociativity can cause non-unique and unstable solutions to wave motion problems (click to view),
  3. 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).

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

A. F. Fossum and R. M. Brannon

Rate Dependance

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: Verification Of Frame Indifference For Complicated Numerical Constitutive Models

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.

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Publication: KAYENTA: Theory and User’s Guide

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.

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