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Lecture 16: Plastic Stress-Strain

Relations General Considerations

Jayadeep U. B.
Dept. of Mechanical Engg., NIT Calicut.
Difference between elastic and plastic behavior is entirely due to
the difference in constitutive or the stress-strain relationships.
In line with the phenomenological nature of TOP, the plastic (or
elasto-plastic) stress-strain relationships attempt to capture /
approximate the observed physical behavior of materials.
In this lecture, we focus on the major considerations in developing
these stress-strain relationships, and then move onto the general
form of the elasto-plastic stress strain relationships.
Due to the variation in behavior of different materials, it is to be
anticipated that a single relationship will not work for all the
materials, unlike Hookes law in the elastic regime.

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Saint Venants Proposition
First rigorous treatment of plastic stress-strain relations were by
St. Venant (1870), who considered plane plastic strain.
St. Venant proposed that the principal axes of plastic strain increment
coincided with the principal axes of stress.
This is unlike the case of isotropic elastic bodies, where the
principal axes of total strain and the stresses coincide.
It may be noted that the principal axes of total strain could be
different from that of strain increment, and hence the total strain
theory by Hencky (1924) is approximately correct only if the
deviatoric stress ratios remain nearly constant.
Hence, plasticity analysis must be incremental in nature.
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Druckers Stability Postulates
Druckers first postulate states that the plastic work done by an
external agency during the application of additional stresses is
positive for a work hardening material and zero for a non-
hardening material.
Druckers second postulate states that the work done in an elastic-
plastic loading cycle must be positive.
These postulates are required to be satisfied by any stable
material. They do not allow the softening behavior, which is not
stable except when surrounded by an elastic region.
These postulates ensure that:
The yield surface is convex.
The plastic strain increment is always in the outward normal
direction to the yield surface, if it is well-defined (Normality rule).
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Maximum Plastic Dissipation Hypothesis
The normality rule also has an implication that the strain direction
corresponds to maximum plastic work.
It is embodied in the maximum plastic dissipation hypothesis (von
Mises, 1928), which says that the material undergoes deformation
in such a way as to maximize the plastic dissipation.
In other words, it states that the actual work done in a given
plastic strain increment is greater than the fictitious work done by
an arbitrary state of stress not exceeding the yield limit.
Hence, a material element deforms so as to offer maximum
resistance, within the restrictions imposed by the yield criterion:
( ij *
ij ) d p
ij 0 ij d p
ij *
ij d p

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Stress-Strain Relations
The complete stress-strain relationship describing both the elastic
and plastic deformation is required, with yield criterion specifying
the demarcation between the two regimes.
The usual practice is to specify different sets of relations for elastic
and plastic regimes.
Generalized Hookes law can be used as stress-strain relationship
for the elastic deformation, provided the material can be assumed
to be linearly elastic.
For the initial development of stress-strain relations in the plastic
domain, the following assumptions are made:
Material remains isotropic throughout the deformation history.
Bauschinger effect can be ignored Isotropic Hardening.
Strain rate (time) and temperature effects are negligible.
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Elastic Stress-Strain Relations
Generalized Hookes law: In tensorial notation,
= [ tr( ) ] I + 2 where & are Lames constants

In index notation: ij = kk ij + 2ij

Decomposition of Stress Tensor: ij = 13 kk ij + ij
Decomposition of Strain Tensor: ij = 13 kk ij + ij
For an isotropic material, hydrostatic part of the stress causes
only volumetric strain, while the deviatoric component causes
only distortion. Hence, we can write the relations:
ij = 2ij
kk = 3K ll , where Bulk Modulus, K = + 2 3
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Plastic Stress-Strain Relations Plastic
Potential and Flow Rule
In case of elastic deformation, we have strain energy function
U defining the ratio of stress and strain components: ij = U
U ij
For linear elastic case, we can use: ij =
Similarly, we can have a plastic potential as a scalar function of
the stresses, to define the ratio of stress and plastic part of the
strain components (flow rule):
d = d
, plastic potential, g g ( ij ) & d is a positive scalar.

Notes: 1. Plastic potential does not correspond to stored energy, since

energy is not stored in a plastic deformation (it is dissipated as heat).
2. Plastic potential does not have any physical meaning, it is
defined only for the purpose of conveniently creating mathematical
models, satisfying the experimental observations.
Associated Flow Rule
Since plastic deformation is independent of hydrostatic stress, the
plastic potential should be a function of deviatoric stress tensor.
For isotropic materials, plastic potential should be a function of
the invariants of the deviatoric stress tensor: g g ( J 2 , J 3 )
The strain tensor should be given by d ijp , when the stress
tensor is replaced by ij . Therefore, g should either be an even
function of J3 or independent of it.
These requirements are same as the requirements on yield
function, and therefore we can use the yield function f(ij) itself as
the plastic potential.
A flow rule, in which the yield function is used as the plastic
potential is called associated flow rule: d p = d f
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Implications of Associated Flow Rule
It can be shown that the principal directions of the plastic strain
increment is same as the directions of the current principal stresses
for isotropic materials.
If we use the principal components of stress and incremental
plastic strain, we have:
d p = d 1p e1 + d 2p e2 + d 3p e3 , e1 , e2 & e3 are principal stress directions
f f f
We have, d = d
, d 2 = d
& d 3 = d

1 2 3

f f f
Using the gradient operator, f = e1 + e2 + e3
1 2 3
Since f is normal to the yield locus f ( ij ) = 0, d ijp is normal
10 to the yield locus.
Chakrabarty, J., Theory of plasticity, Butterworth-Heinemann.
Hill, R., The mathematical theory of plasticity, Oxford University
Johnson,W. and Mellor, P.B., Plasticity for Mechanical Engineers,
van Nostrand Company Ltd.

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