A Contribution to the Modeling of Metal Plasticity and Fracture: From Continuum to Discrete Descriptions
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The objective of this dissertation is to further the understanding of inelastic behavior in metallic materials. Despite the increasing use of polymeric composites in aircraft structures, high specific strength metals continue to be used in key components such as airframe, fuselage, wings, landing gear and hot engine parts. Design of metallic structures subjected to thermomechanical extremes in aerospace, automotive and nuclear applications requires consideration of the plasticity, creep and fracture behavior of these materials. Consideration of inelasticity and damage processes is also important in the design of metallic components used in functional applications such as thin films, flexible electronics and micro electro mechanical systems. Fracture mechanics has been largely successful in modeling damage and failure phenomena in a host of engineering materials. In the context of ductile metals, the Gurson void growth model remains one of the most successful and widely used models. However, some well documented limitations of the model in quantitative prediction of the fracture strains and failure modes at low triaxialities may be traceable to the limited representation of the damage microstructure in the model. In the first part of this dissertation, we develop an extended continuum model of void growth that takes into account details of the material microstructure such as the texture of the plastically deforming matrix and the evolution of the void shape. The need for such an extension is motivated by a detailed investigation of the effects of the two types of anisotropy on the materials' effective response using finite element analysis. The model is derived using the Hill-Mandel homogenization theory and an approximate limit analysis of a porous representative volume element. Comparisons with several numerical studies are presented towards a partial validation of the analytical model. Inelastic phenomena such as plasticity and creep result from the collective behavior of a large number of nano and micro scale defects such as dislocations, vacancies and grain boundaries. Continuum models relate macroscopically observable quantities such as stress and strain by coarse graining the discrete defect microstructure. While continuum models provide a good approximation for the effective behavior of bulk materials, several deviations have been observed in experiments at small scales such as an intrinsic size dependence of the material strength. Discrete dislocation dynamics (DD) is a mesoscale method for obtaining the mechanical response of a material by direct simulation of the motion and interactions of dislocations. The model incorporates an intrinsic length scale in the dislocation Burgers vector and potentially allows for size dependent mechanical behavior to emerge naturally from the dynamics of the dislocation ensemble. In the second part of this dissertation, a simplified two dimensional DD model is employed to study several phenomena of practical interest such as strain hardening under homogeneous deformation, growth of microvoids in a crystalline matrix and creep of single crystals at elevated temperatures. These studies have been enabled by several recent enhancements to the existing two-dimensional DD framework described in Chapter V. The main contributions from this research are: (i) development of a fully anisotropic continuum model of void growth for use in ductile fracture simulations and (ii) enhancing the capabilities of an existing two-dimensional DD framework for large scale simulations in complex domains and at elevated temperatures.
Porous Metal Plasticity
Keralavarma, Shyam Mohan (2011). A Contribution to the Modeling of Metal Plasticity and Fracture: From Continuum to Discrete Descriptions. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from