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Constitutive model for full-range elasto-plastic behavior of structural

steels with yield plateau: Formulation and implementation
Fangxin Hu, Gang Shi , Yongjiu Shi
Key Laboratory of Civil Engineering Safety and Durability of China Education Ministry, Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Performance-based engineering methodologies allow for the design of more reliable seismic resistant
Received 15 October 2015 structures. Nonetheless, to implement this technique, an accurate constitutive model to predict the
Revised 16 February 2016 elasto-plastic behavior of structural steel components or systems under various loadings is needed to
Accepted 22 February 2016
properly evaluate their strength, deformation and energy absorption capacities in case of severe earth-
Available online xxxx
quakes. Such a model should also be relatively simple to use for practical purposes in engineering.
With these objectives in mind, a new constitutive model is formulated to describe the elasto-plastic
behavior of structural steels with yield plateau. This model uses nonlinear kinematic hardening to trace
Constitutive model
Plastic behavior
well the significant Bauschinger effect in full-range cyclic loadings, and couples nonlinear isotropic hard-
Structural steel ening with a memory surface in the plastic strain space to account for the stabilization phenomena of
Yield plateau cyclic softening and hardening. An impermanent bounding surface in the stress space is employed to cor-
Formulation rectly describe the yield plateau response. The consistency condition is investigated in detail, which
Implementation results in implications that will greatly facilitate the calibration of material dependent parameters. The
implementation technique is also presented for three-dimensional and two-dimensional problems
respectively. Using the resulting integration algorithms, the proposed constitutive model is successfully
incorporated into ABAQUS/Standard by the UMAT subroutine feature.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction structural components, assemblages and systems is required in

addition to the strength capacity. While experimental methods
1.1. Background and motivation can be used to determine their seismic performance, numerical
methods making use of more and more advanced computational
A review of the lessons learned from severe earthquakes that capability for the analysis of structures are becoming more and
have occurred [14] has led to the conclusion that civil engineering more popular, especially taking into account the high cost of
structures are exposed to an increasing seismic risk in urban areas large-scale tests of structural systems. Regarding the numerical
and their safety are always challenged due to the intrinsic extreme analysis, both the geometrical nonlinearity and material nonlinear-
uncertainties of earthquakes. One of the most effective efforts to ity should be well simulated to improve its accuracy. The geomet-
reverse this situation in future severe earthquakes is through the rical nonlinearity has already been well incorporated in many
development of performance-based seismic design as a more reli- commercial general-purpose finite-element programs; however,
able method to resist the effects of earthquakes [5,6]. Implementa- the material nonlinearity is not so easily captured, especially under
tion of such a design concept results in the well-known multi-level repeated or cyclic loading conditions. Its well recognized that accu-
seismic design criteria to achieve different performance levels sub- rate description of the microscopic material behavior involving cyc-
jected to different earthquake ground motions, and also gives rise to lic plasticity is essential to predict the macroscopic structural
the capacity design rules allowing specially designed regions within behavior [11,12], and is also the basis before proposing appropriate
a structure to dissipate energy under earthquake loading, in current damage models to characterize the material failure under uncertain
seismic standards and code provisions [710]. To facilitate a rea- loadings [1316].
sonable performance-based design, the detailed and accurate Constitutive models for cyclic plasticity of structural steels have
knowledge of deformation and energy absorption capacities of developed remarkably in the past decades, and a comprehensive
review of the field can be found in the literature of Chaboche
[17,18] and Ohno [19]. In the classical single-surface theories of
Corresponding author. plasticity, it is necessary to give a yield function, a flow rule that
0141-0296/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Please cite this article in press as: Hu F et al. Constitutive model for full-range elasto-plastic behavior of structural steels with yield plateau: Formulation
and implementation. Eng Struct (2016),
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defines the evolution law of plastic strain and a hardening rule that DafaliasPopov model to formulate a three-surface model, which
specifies the post-yielding behavior [20]. The von Mises yield crite- is characterized by a discontinuity surface inserted between the
rion and associated flow rule are commonly accepted for structural yield and bounding surfaces, thus representing the transition
steels, while isotropic hardening and/or kinematic hardening can behavior from the yield plateau to strain hardening region. The
be assumed, which indicate the change in size and translation of three-surface model was later modified also by Goto et al. [66]
the yield surface, respectively. The simplest kinematic hardening who introduced a new internal variable to consider the behavior
is the linear one proposed by Prager [21] and Ziegler [22], which under large plastic strain. In addition, much more complicated
was then generalized to a mixed hardening rule by Hodge [23], behavior including the non-proportional and distortional cyclic
but they are usually inaccurate in predicting the actual hardening hardening has been extensively investigated, such as by Ortiz
behavior. Armstrong and Frederick [24] developed a nonlinear and Popov [67], McDowell [68,69], Chang and Lee [70,71] and Jiang
kinematic hardening rule, which was then greatly improved by [72]. Since the fiber-model approach for nonlinear analysis of slen-
Chaboche and Rousselier [25,26] in that multiple kinematic hard- der beams and columns is more and more popular, emphasis has
ening components evolve independently according to the Arm- been also given to the formulation of one-dimensional uniaxial
strongFrederick rule. This evolution law has been modified models, such as those proposed by Cofie and Krawinkler [73], San-
again to better describe the ratchetting effects due to its large over- thanam [74], Hays [75], Mahan et al. [64] and Wang et al. [7678].
estimations [27,28]. The isotropic hardening can be linear or non- Although there are still other concepts of constitutive model
linear too, with respect to the equivalent plastic strain, but based such as the endochronic theory initially developed by Valanis
on the extensive experimental results it is generally assumed in [79,80] and extensively studied by other researchers [81,82], the
a nonlinear form and to saturate eventually, as proposed by Zaverl classical theory of yield surface based on the superposition of kine-
and Lee [29] and used by Chaboche [30]. Moreover, the saturation matic hardening and isotropic hardening is still popular for model-
of isotropic hardening has been found to depend on the plastic ing material plasticity in structural analysis due to its relatively
strain amplitude. Thus, Chaboche et al. [31] introduced the concept simple implementation. Thus, it has been incorporated into most
of memory surface in plastic strain space; Ohno [32] then general- commercial finite-element programs, e.g. the so-called Chaboche
ized it to measure the cyclic loading amplitude and applied it suc- model in ABAQUS [83]. However, Huang and Mahin [84] have illus-
cessfully in cyclic plasticity models [33]. To describe the cyclic trated that although the nonlinearity can be described to some
behavior in the yield plateau of mild steels, Rodzik [34] extended extent, a significant drawback of the Chaboche model is, the cali-
the integral description of the back stress evolution model and pro- bration may result in widely different sets of kinematic hardening
posed a new concept of the yield plateau region; Yoshida [35] pro- parameters depending upon the strain range of interest. The
posed a model to capture the phenomena of sharp yield point and response in the yield plateau of mild structural steels cannot be
the subsequent abrupt yield drop; Ucak and Tsopelas [36,37] obtained either. As for the material parameters, most constitutive
assumed a threshold controlled by both the equivalent plastic models introduced above are not easy to calibrate, and substantial
strain and the loading amplitude which is measured by the mem- cyclic coupon tests are generally required especially for those mul-
ory surface, to distinguish between the plateau and hardening tisurface models, e.g., three types of cyclic loading are necessary to
regions. The memory surface can also be defined in the stress calibrate 18 parameters in the two-surface model by Shen et al.
space, such as by Yoshida and Uemori [38] to better describe the [63], or the parameters even have to be determined using the test
work hardening stagnation effect appearing in the context of sheet results of structural members whose cyclic behavior is essentially
metal forming [39]. Jia and Kuwamura [40] then modified the orig- the one to predict in the three-surface model by Goto et al. [65].
inal YoshidaUemori model to simulate behavior of structural Therefore, from the view point of numerical analysis in engineering
steels with yield plateau at large cyclic plastic strain. design, if we intend to predict the full-range elasto-plastic behav-
Another modeling approach is the multisurface model proposed ior and stressstrain distributions in steel structures typically
independently by Mrz [41] and Iwan [42] based on the underlying under severe earthquakes, a constitutive model that can properly
idea of the multilayer model by Besseling [43]. The multisurface describe the yield plateau phenomena, cyclic hardening and soft-
model utilizes a family of surfaces in stress space to trace the non- ening behavior and is relatively simple for a straightforward cali-
linear plasticity. Due to its complexity in implementation and large bration of material dependent parameters, is in urgent need.
storage requirement in numerical analysis, the popular two-
surface models were proposed successively by Dafalias and Popov 1.2. Scope
[44,45], Krieg [46] and Tseng and Lee [47], which employ only two
surfaces in stress space, i.e., a bounding surface [4850] (or limit A constitutive model in the framework of classical theory using
surface) enclosing a yield surface (or loading surface). The plastic a yield surface and isotropic and kinematic hardening to describe
modulus is then defined as a function of the distance between the nonlinear behavior is explored in this paper. Cyclic softening
the surfaces at the loading point. Petersson and Popov [51,52] and hardening and the Bauschinger effect can be described by a
extended the DafaliasPopov model by using a number of interme- carefully devised combination of isotropic and kinematic harden-
diate surfaces between the yield and bounding surfaces to remedy ing rules, and a memory surface with a bounding surface is used
the spurious prediction if unloading and reloading are involved to correctly represent the plateau behavior and hardening stabi-
without substantial plastic flow, and the cyclic softening, cyclic lization. It must be mentioned that, several implications for the
hardening and mean-relaxation phenomena exhibited by struc- material dependent parameters can be derived from the formula-
tural steels can be represented [53] as well as the cyclic behavior tion, which will greatly facilitate the calibration. The nonpropor-
of structural members [54]. Minagawa et al. [5557] modified tional loading effects on cyclic hardening is neglected in this
the PeterssonPopov model further by introducing the accumu- work to further simplify the calibration, which is conceived to be
lated effective plastic strain and the effective plastic strain incre- reasonable in practical use for structural analysis.
ment as the state variables. To trace the cyclic behavior within In this view, this paper is organized as follows: Initially, Sec-
the yield plateau, Shen et al. [5860] developed another modified tion 1 introduces the background, motivation and scope of this
uniaxial two-surface model and generalized it to a multiaxial one study, whilst the critical observations and assumptions relative
[6163]; Mahan et al. [64] developed a conceptually different to the material cyclic behavior of structural steels with yield pla-
model where a fixed nonhardening bounding surface is assumed teau are summarized in Section 2. Successively, the complete
to capture the plateau response. Goto et al. [65] refined the mathematical formulation of the proposed constitutive model is

Please cite this article in press as: Hu F et al. Constitutive model for full-range elasto-plastic behavior of structural steels with yield plateau: Formulation
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illustrated in Section 3. Furthermore, Section 4 presents the imple- plateau must represent the monotonic, small and large strain
mentation algorithm of the proposed model in both three- amplitude cyclic behavior, and must also be capable of predicting
dimensional and two-dimensional numerical problems by employ- the cyclic softening or hardening stabilization and mean-stress
ing the UMAT subroutine feature provided in ABAQUS/Standard relaxation under random cyclic loading. Therefore, several assump-
[83]. Finally, in Section 5, main conclusions are drawn. The detailed tions can be made in order to formulate such a model:
calibration procedure of the proposed constitutive model is pre-
sented in a companion paper as well as its validation and applica- (1) There exists a plateau region followed by a hardening region
tion at the level of materials, members, connections and structures. for both monotonic and cyclic loading conditions, and the
transition from the plateau region to the hardening region
depends on both loading amplitude and the accumulated
2. Observations on material behavior plastic strain. Such an assumption has also been employed
by Ucak and Tsopelas [36].
During monotonic loading, the uniaxial behavior of structural (2) Within the plateau region, only cyclic softening behavior can
steels with yield plateau is essentially linear elastic from its virgin take place which characterizes the contraction of elastic
state up to the sharp point of yield followed by an abrupt yield range.
drop and the yield plateau. The plastic deformation along the yield (3) Within the hardening region, only cyclic hardening behavior
plateau is caused by the Lders band propagation [35,85]. From a can take place which characterizes the expansion of elastic
macroscopic point of view, such a behavior can be treated as per- range.
fectly plastic, and the length of the yield plateau can be quantified (4) No matter in which region, the material is capable of mem-
by the plastic strain at the end of the plateau, as schematically orizing its current loading amplitude and then determines
illustrated in Fig. 1. At the end of yield plateau, the material usually the status of cyclic softening or hardening behavior. The
starts hardening nonlinearly up to the point corresponding to the change of elastic range or radius of yield surface takes place
ultimate stress when necking initiates in a typical tension coupon only if the plastic strain state evolves outside current mem-
test. After ultimate stress is reached, the true stressstrain rela- ory. With this rule the stress can stabilize under cyclic load-
tionship is almost linear, which indicates the hardening modulus ings after several constant amplitudes.
is approximately a constant [86,87].
During cyclic loading, the material behavior of structural steels 3. Mathematical formulation
with yield plateau is much more complex than monotonic loading
and is closely related to the strain amplitude of cycling. Generally, According to the observations and assumptions in Section 2, a
cyclic loops converge to a stabilized saturation dependent only on constitutive model for full-range cyclic behavior of structural steels
the loading amplitudes. The curve joining the tips of the stabilized with yield plateau is proposed here based on the classical theory of
cycles as shown in Fig. 2(a) is known as the cyclic backbone curve, rate-independent plasticity. It includes general equations to define
which is an important ingredient in uniaxial constitutive models the yield surface and flow rule in the stress space, and defines the
[88,89]. There also exists one cyclic strain amplitude epst : for cyclic memory surface in the plastic strain space to memorize the plateau
amplitudes not greater than epst , the stabilized stress amplitude will region and loading history. Especially, the kinematic hardening and
not exceed virgin yield stress, which characterizes cyclic softening isotropic hardening equations in plateau and hardening regions are
behavior; otherwise the observed behavior will be cyclic hardening carefully devised to express those characteristics in cyclic plasticity
and the stabilized stress amplitude will exceed virgin yield stress with less material parameters and more consistent internal
[36,53], as schematically illustrated in Fig. 2(b) and (c). The shape variables.
of cyclic curves shows significant Bauschinger effect, even for very
small strain amplitude [90,91]. This suggests a contraction of elas- 3.1. General equations
tic range under small strain amplitude and then an expansion
under large strain amplitude, which is also verified by the experi- Generally, to describe the metal elasto-plasticity, it is necessary
mental studies [9294]. In addition, under constant strain ampli- to decomposite the total strain and then defines the elastic and
tude cycling, the stabilization of softening or hardening behavior plastic behavior independently.
accompanied by the mean-stress relaxation will be observed
[40,53], as shown in Fig. 2(d). Once the strain exceeds current con- 3.1.1. Strain rate decomposition
stant amplitude, the stabilized cycle then exhibits softening or In the development of stressstrain relationship of the incre-
hardening again. mental type, time and temperature effects are ignored herein and
Based on above observations, a reasonably accurate constitutive the total strain rate tensor is assumed to be the sum of the elastic
model for full-range elasto-plasticity of structural steels with yield and plastic strain rate components as

True stress u e_ e_ e e_ p 1
where bold face letters indicate second-order tensors.
y 3.1.2. Elastic behavior
The elastic behavior is modeled as linear isotropic and the elas-
tic strain rate is defined by the incremental Hookes law with two
st u material parameters such as the bulk modulus K and the shear
True strain modulus G, i.e.
plateau hardening r_ ce : e_ e 2
region region
where c represents the fourth-order elasticity tensor
ce K1  1 2G i  1  1 3
Fig. 1. Monotonic behavior of structural steels with yield plateau.

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(a) True stress (b) True stress

backbone curve

p p
True strain st True strain

Plateau region

(c) True stress (d) True stress

Hardening st
stp True strain True strain
region Mean-stress at
each half cycle
Stabilized cycle
Plateau region stabilization

Fig. 2. Cyclic behavior of structural steels with yield plateau: (a) steady-state response; (b) softening under small amplitudes; (c) hardening under large amplitudes and (d)
hardening stabilization and mean-stress relaxation under constant amplitudes.

where 1 is the second-order identity tenor, and i is the fourth-order Note that substituting Eq. (8) into Eq. (10) results in e_ p k.
symmetric identity tensor. They can be expressed as
1 dij ei  ej 4 3.2. Memorization effects

1  As illustrated in Section 2, a memory surface is assumed in the

i dik djl dil djk ei  ej  ek  el 5 plastic strain space to determine the transition from the plateau
region to the hardening region, and also to determine the status
where dij is Kronecker delta and ei is unit vector. of isotropic hardening. Such a memory surface has been proposed
by Chaboche et al. [31] and then generalized by Ohno [32] as
3.1.3. Plastic behavior
The plastic behavior is modeled as hydrostatic pressure inde- 2 p
pendent. The generally accepted von Mises yield criterion is g e  n : ep  n  r 0 11
adopted to define the yield surface
r where n and r is the center and radius of memory surface respec-
f r s  a : s  a  R 0 6 tively, whose evolution are defined as
where r is the effective von Mises stress and R is the radius of yield n_ 1  cHg m : e_ p m 12
surface; a is the back stress tensor and s is deviatoric stress tensor 3
which is defined as
r_ cHghn : mie_ p 13
s r  trr1 7
3 where c is a scalar material parameter which determines the rate of
where tr indicates the trace operator and r is the stress tensor. expansion of the memory surface; Hg is Heaviside function, i.e.
Associated flow rule is assumed for which the plastic strain rate Hg 1 if g = 0 and Hg 0 if g < 0; h i denotes the Macaulay
tensor can be expressed as brackets, i.e. hai a if a > 0 and hai 0 if a < 0; m is the direction
normal to the memory surface with the norm kmk 3=2
@f 3
e_ p k_ nk_ 8 ep  n
@r 2 m 14
where k_ is a positive scalar determined using the consistency con-
dition df 0, and n is the flow direction normal to the yield surface It is clear that the material parameter c controls the relative rate
of the isotropic (increase of radius defined by Eq. (13)) and
sa kinematic components (translation defined by Eq. (12)) in the
n 9
r evolution of memory surface, and it is usually taken as
Note that for the sake of implementation simplicity, n is not a unit 0 < c 6 1=2 [32].
vector and its norm is knk 2=3. To distinguish between the plateau and hardening region, the
The equivalent plastic strain rate is defined as following criterion proposed by Ucak and Tsopelas [36] is assumed
r if r 6 epst or ep 6 epst ! plateau region
2 p p 15
e_ p e_ : e_ 10 if r > epst and ep > epst ! hardening region

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where epst is the plastic strain at the end of yield plateau in mono- 3.3.1. Initial loading
tonic stressstrain curve (see Fig. 1), epst is a threshold amplitude During the monotonic plastic loading on yield plateau, the
of plastic strain (see Fig. 2(b) and (c)) and they are both material bounding surface is treated as the loading surface and consistency
dependent parameters. This criterion ensures that the material will is guaranteed by assuming the outward normal direction of yield
not experience any cyclic hardening for fully reversed loading surface in Eq. (6) and the bounding surface in Eq. (16) to be iden-
amplitudes smaller than epst ; while for amplitudes larger than epst , tical [36], i.e. @f =@ r @l=@ r, which yields the following evolution
the cyclic hardening will not take place until the accumulated plas- of back stress on the yield plateau
tic strain reaches epst .  
a 1 s 20
3.3. Plateau region
It is easy to recognize that during the initial plastic loading,
although the yield surface contracts and translates according to
According to Mahan et al. [64] and Ucak and Tsopelas [36], in
Eqs. (19) and (20), it is always in contact with the bounding surface
the plateau region a bounding surface can be incorporated into
at the loading point.
the deviatoric stress space which is identical to the yield surface
of the virgin material but is not allowed to translate or change size,
3.3.2. Unloading and reloading
as shown in Fig. 3(a). This bounding surface is defined as
Once unloadingreloading occurs on the yield plateau, the back
r stress no longer evolves as in Eq. (20). Now, the back stress in Eq.
l s : s  ry 0 16 (20) is assumed to be decomposed into several short-range compo-
nents as proposed by Chaboche and Rousselier [25,26], and for
where ry is the initial yield stress of the virgin material. Such a each component, the evolution law initially proposed by Arm-
bounding surface will ensure the equivalent stress in the plateau strong and Frederick [24] is used to describe the nonlinear kine-
region cannot exceed ry , which is consistent with the observations matic hardening in the form
in Section 2. Contraction of the yield surface is then described with 2
the following nonlinear isotropic softening equation a_ sj C sj e_ p  csj asj e_ p 21

R_ b ry Q s  R e_ p where C sj and csj are short-range material dependent parameters. For
the simulation in engineering application, it is generally recognized
where b and Q s are both short-range material parameters repre- that superposition of two short-range back stresses is sufficient to
senting the rate of softening and the saturated change produce acceptable results in describing the cyclic behavior at small
(ry < Q s < 0 of the size of yield surface, respectively. With initial plastic strain, i.e.
values of R and ep equal to ry and zero in the virgin state, integra- X
tion of Eq. (17) yields a asj 22
R ry Q 1  exp b ep 18
Eq. (21) can be manipulated to obtain
0 1
which indicates that the saturated size of the yield surface is r! r r
n : a s
ry Q s . Based on the assumptions in Section 2, cyclic softening of a : aj B as : asj C
3 s s 3 3
d @ C s q  csj
the yield surface defined by Eq. (17) or (18) can only take place 2 j 2 j as : as 2 j
j j
when the loading is directed outwards of current memory surface r!
shown in Fig. 3(b) and defined in Eqs. (11)(14) with initial values 3 s s
of zero and short-range scalar material parameter cs , i.e. 6 C sj  csj a : aj dep 23
2 j

R_ b ry Q s  R e_ p when g 0 and n : m > 0

19 where the inequality n : asj 6 knk asj is used and asj denotes the
R_ 0; otherwise q

norm of asj , i.e. asj asj : asj . Integration of Eq. (23) yields
To simulate simultaneously the plateau behavior during mono- h i
3 s s C j exp cj e const
tonic loading and softening behavior during cyclic loading in the pla- s s p

teau region, it is imperative to deal with the initial monotonic plastic a : aj 6 s  24

2 j cj csj
loading and subsequent unloading or reloading independently.

(a) (b)
Stress space Strain space
s s s
1 2
surface Memory surface

Fig. 3. Multiaxial stress and strain space representation in plateau region: (a) yield surface and bounding surface and (b) memory surface.

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X2   X
where const represents a scalar constant determined by the initial @f 2
C sj 3 s
conditions. With asj and ep denoting the uniaxial back stress and C j  cj aj :
s s s
cj s  aj : n

@r j1
cj 2
plastic strain, Eqs. (21) and (24) can be rewritten in a given mono- !
 X 2
C sj 3
tonic load path (e.g. a half-cycle) as
P min csj  a:n 32
j cs 2
a_ sj C sj e_ p  csj asj je_ p j 25 j1 j

! where the inequality holds since

C sj C sj 
a s
a s
 exp csj ep  ep0 26 C sj
3 C sj 3

 asj : n P s  knk asj P 0
j j;0
csj csj 33
c 2
j cj 2
where  indicates the direction of loading, a and e are initial val- s
by making use of Eq. (24). On the other hand, the following relation
ues of the back stress and plastic strain respectively. Eqs. (24) and
can be obtained by using Eqs. (6) and (9)
(26) are asymptotic functions which approach to C sj =csj regardless  
3 3 a : s  a 1 3 3

of initial conditions ( asj 6 C sj =csj for uniaxial and a:n s : s  a : a  R2 34
q 2 2 R 2R 2 2
3=2aj : aj 6 C j =cj for multiaxial loading). Hence, with reference
s s s s
With reference to Fig. 3(a), the following triangle inequality holds
to Fig. 2(b), the equivalent stress always locates inside the yield pla- r r
teau upon the stabilization of cyclic softening in the plateau region, 3
s : s  R 6 a:a 35
which makes it reasonable to assume the following condition 2 2
adopted by Ucak and Tsopelas [36]
Substituting Eq. (35) into Eq. (34) yields
C sj s r
Q 27 3 3
csj a:n6 s : s  R 6 ry  R 36
2 2
Eq. (27) means the saturated absolute value of total back stress
by making use of the bounding condition in Eq. (16). Combining
equals to the saturated contraction of the yield surface. Thus, it
Eqs. (27), (32) and (36) leads to
ensures that the yield surface approaches to a limiting surface
which is identical to the initial yield surface or bounding surface. @f

C sj  csj asj : P min csj R  Q s  ry 37

The consistency condition of the yield surface leads to
@r j

@f @f @f _
f_ : r_ : a_ R0 28 At this instant, it is obvious that the consistency condition pre-
@r @a @R
sented in Eq. (31) is always satisfied as long as
Assuming the isotropic softening is activated and substituting Eqs. 
(8), (17) and (21), (22) into Eq. (28) while making use of min csj P b 38
@f =@ a @f =@ r and @f =@R 1, the following relation can be

obtained which implies that the rate of saturation of the size of yield surface
  should be less than that of any short-range back stress component.
1 @f
k_ : r_ 29 Eqs. (27) and (38) will be used as guidance for calibration of mate-
H @r
rial parameters.
2   Another issue is the determination of initial values of back
X @f s

H C sj  csj asj : b ry Q s  R 30 stress components at the first unloading from the yield plateau.
@r Ucak and Tsopelas [36] have proposed a convenient approach to
ensure the internal consistency, which reads
where H is hardening modulus. Note that k_ is a positive scalar, s
which requires the hardening modulus H to be positive, since for 1 Cj
asj  s s a 39
plastic loading the term @f =@ r : r_ in Eq. (29) is always positive Q cj
[20]. Thus, the material dependent parameters that appear in the
kinematic hardening and isotropic softening have to be carefully where a is determined according to Eq. (20).
calibrated such that the following equation holds for any given load So far, a complete framework for cyclic behavior in the plateau
path region is elaborated as illustrated in Fig. 3. The material dependent
parameters should satisfy Eqs. (27) and (38) such that the consis-
@f s
tency condition always holds. Nonetheless, the bounding condition
C sj  csj asj : P b R  Q s  ry 31
@ r in Eq. (16) could be violated in cycles with very small plastic strain
amplitudes, since the evolution of back stress according to Eq. (21)
To satisfy the internal consistency in Eq. (31) regardless of the load- could reach some magnitude larger than the contraction of yield
ing amplitude, Ucak and Tsopelas [36] adopted a crucial assumption surface before sufficient saturation. Hence, Eq. (16) is monitored
that the material parameter b in Eq. (17) is large enough to achieve at any time and activated with Eq. (20) when violated. Once
close to instantaneous saturation of the size of yield surface in the unloadingreloading from the bounding surface takes place again,
initial plastic loading, such that the right term in Eq. (26) can be the back stress evolution is switched from Eq. (20)(22) with the
treated as nearly zero. However, such an assumption will definitely initial condition Eq. (39).
overestimate the cyclic softening in plateau region, since experi-
mental results have shown that the yield surface does contract 3.4. Hardening region
gradually with the equivalent plastic strain within the yield plateau
[62,93]. To further elaborate on the restrictions associated with Once the criterion in Eq. (15) is satisfied, hardening region is
material parameters, substituting Eq. (8) into the term on the left activated. At this instant, the bounding surface defined by
hand side of Eq. (31) leads to Eq. (16) vanishes as shown in Fig. 4(a), and the existing memory

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(a) (b) Memory surface

Stress space Strain space
Yield r
s surface p Memory is reset
s s l l O O
1 + 2+ 1 + 2 Bounding
Existing memory
is erased

Fig. 4. Multiaxial stress and strain space representation in hardening region: (a) yield surface and vanished bounding surface and (b) reset memory surface.

of the material defined by Eqs. (12)(14) is erased and reset with memory surface and cyclic hardening instead of softening. The
the following initial conditions [36] consistency condition can be given as well, and it is easy to find
that the hardening modulus is definitely positive due to progres-
n ep0 and r 0 40
sive hardening of the yield surface.
where e is the plastic strain at the onset of hardening region, as
shown in Fig. 4(b). The evolution law of the memory surface is
4. Numerical implementation
defined in the same Eqs. (12)(14) but with initial conditions in
Eq. (40) and long-range scalar material parameter cl .
Although the mathematical equations formulated in Section 3
Cyclic hardening behavior is described with the following non-
are generally given in rate form, in numerical analysis the state
linear isotropic hardening equation
 variables of a material constitutive model such as stress, elastic
R_ b ry Q s Q l  R e_ p and plastic strains are updated from one discrete time to the next,
known as time integration. The integration procedure is con-
where b and Q l are both long-range positive material parameters ceived as a strain-driven algorithm, where the object is to calculate
representing the rate of hardening and the saturated change of the current values of state variables based on the preceding values
the size of yield surface, respectively. For convenience, the size of for a given strain increment. It is also necessary to compute the
yield surface is assumed to have been saturated from contraction algorithmic consistent tangent modulus which is used to carry
when hardening region is activated, which indicates the parameter out the iterative solution of the global equilibrium equations
s [95]. Therefore, the corresponding discretization and update proce-
b controlling the rate of saturation should be large enough to
dure of these state variables and the consistent tangent modulus,
achieve close to full saturation for an equivalent plastic strain at
i.e., implementation of the proposed constitutive model is pre-
least being epst . Thus, with initial values of R and ep equal to
sented in this section. The general procedure for implementation
ry Q s and ep0 (ep0 P epst at the onset of hardening region, integra- in three-dimensional (or plane-strain) problems is described first,
tion of Eq. (41) yields followed by the special treatment in two-dimensional (e.g. plane-
h i
stress) cases.
R ry Q s Q l 1  exp b ep0  b ep
l l

which indicates that the saturated size of the yield surface is

4.1. Three-dimensional problem
ry Q s Q l . Based on the assumptions in Section 2, cyclic harden-
ing of the yield surface defined by Eq. (41) or (42) can only take For a three-dimensional problem, all six components of the
place when the loading is directed outwards of current memory state variables such as stress and strain tensors are evaluated. First,
surface to simulate the stabilization of hardening, i.e. to discretize the state variables, an implicit backward Euler differ-
 ence scheme is employed. Next, the state variables are updated
R_ b ry Q s Q l  R e_ p when g 0 and n : m > 0

43 using a two-step algorithm: an elastic trial predictor followed by

R_ 0; otherwise a plastic corrector that performs projection of the trial states onto
the yield surface, as illustrated by Fig. 5. The elastic predictor
In the hardening region, two long-range back stress compo-
nents are activated to simulate better cyclic behavior at large plas-
tic strain and added to the existing short-range components, while trial
they also evolve in the ArmstrongFrederick hardening rule [24], i +1
i.e., Eqs. (21) and (22) are now modified as
2 E
a_ lj C lj e_ p  clj alj e_ p 44
3 i +1
2 X
a asj alj 45 E
j1 j1
(elastic domain)
where C lj and clj are long-range material dependent parameters. i
So far, a concise framework for cyclic behavior in the hardening
region is also established as illustrated in Fig. 4. The basic idea
behind is similar to that in the plateau region, except for the reset Fig. 5. Geometric illustration of closest point projection for implementation.

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8 F. Hu et al. / Engineering Structures xxx (2016) xxxxxx

obtains the trial elastic states by freezing plastic flow during the Thus, upon exploiting kni1 k 2=3, a scalar equation is obtained
increment (i.e. Dk 0 as as
ep;trial epi 46
i1 s
3 trial
2 i1
: strial
i1  ry
Dk 62
i1 ri c : De
rtrial 47

Once Dk is determined, the state variables can be updated

i1 r trial
i1  tr rtrial
i1 1 48 To update the memory surface, the following discretization is
ee;trial eei De 49
ni1 ni 1  cs CDkmi1 63

e p;trial
e p
i1 i
ri1 r i cs CDk 64
De 0p
epi1  ni1
mi1 65
Then the plastic return-mapping corrector updates the states as r i1
epi1 ep;trial
i1 Dk 52 where

C H g i1 hni1 : mi1 i 66
ri1 r trial
i1  c : De
e p
Substituting Eqs. (63) and (64) into Eq. (65) yields
i1  2GDe
si1 strial 54
epi1  ni
mi1 67
r i C Dk
eei1 ee;trial
i1  De
and making use of kmi1 k 3=2, another scalar equation is
e p
i1 e p;trial
i1 De p
56 obtained as
*r +
3 2 p

De p
ni1 Dk 57 CDk e  ni : ei1  ni  ri 68
2 3 i1
where subscript i represents the increment number, Dk is equiva-
lent plastic strain increment to be determined, and De and Dep are which indicates that the memory surface should be updated if the
strain increment and plastic strain increment, respectively. updated plastic strain locates outside it.
The plastic corrector can be implemented based on the theory To update the size of yield surface, Eq. (19) is discretized as
of radial return algorithm originally proposed by Wilkins [96], s

which was then generalized as the closest point projection method Ri1 Ri b ry Q s  Ri1 CDk 69
by Simo and Hughes [97]. A similar fully implicit integration tech-
which gives
nique for nonlinear isotropic and kinematic hardening plasticity
has been proposed by Doghri [98], while Mahnken [99], Hartmann

Ri ry Q s bs CDk
and Haupt [100] have shown that such a computation problem can Ri1 s 70
1 b C Dk
be reduced to a one-dimensional scalar equation, in which only the
plastic multiplier (i.e. Dk) appears as the unknown. The develop- The consistent tangent modulus necessary for a rapid convergence
ment of integration algorithms for the proposed constitutive model of the solution of global equilibrium equations requires the deriva-
in Section 3 is shown below. tive of the stress ri1 with respect to the total strain ei1 . According
to Eqs. (47), (48), (53), (57), (61) and (62), the following partial
4.1.1. Plateau region, on the bounding surface derivatives can be obtained
In the plateau region, when plastic flow occurs on the bounding
surface such as in the initial monotonic loading or in occasions for @strial
@ Dk strial
i1 : @ ei1
strial : 2G i  13 1  1 1
which the bounding condition Eq. (16) is violated in subsequent i1 q
q ni1 : i  1  1 ni1
@ ei1 2G 3 strial : strial 2G s : strial
3 trial 3
unloading and reloading, the back stress in Eq. (20) is discretized as 2 i1 i1 2 i1 i1

ai1 1 si1 58
@ Dk
resulting in @ni1
@ ei1
ry 3GDk  3Gstrial
i1  @ ei1

@ ei1 ry 3GDk
si1  ai1 strial
i1  3Gni1 Dk 59

ry 2G i  13 1  1  3Gni1  ni1
The yield function gives ry 3GDk
si1  ai1 Ri1 ni1 60
@ ri1 @ Dk @ni1
ce  3Gni1   3GDk 73
Combining Eqs. (59) and (60) leads to @ ei1 @ ei1 @ ei1
strial Thus, substituting Eqs. (3), (71) and (72) into Eq. (73), the consistent
ni1 i1
ry 3GDk tangent modulus is obtained as

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@ ri1 The state variables are updated after convergence of Eqs. (79)(84).
@ ei1 Because ei1 is fixed in the plastic corrector
ry 1 @h @h @ Dk @h @s trial
K1  1 2G i  1  1 0 Dk : i1
ry 3GDk 3 @ ei1 @ Dk @ ei1 @si1
trial @ ei1
 3Gni1  ni1 74 @h @ Dk
ry 3GDk Dk 3Gni1 85
@ Dk @ ei1

4.1.2. Plateau region, inside the bounding surface So

In the plateau region, when plastic flow occurs inside the @ Dk 3G @h
ni1 where k  Dk 86
bounding surface in subsequent unloading and reloading, the back @ ei1 k @ Dk
stress should be now discretized using Eq. (21) as
asj asj C sj ni1  csj asj Dk 75
i1 i i1 @ni1 @ni1 @fi1 i  32 ni1  ni1
resulting in @ ei1 @fi1 @ ei1 r~ i1
2  3
" #   X
C sj 6 1 2 cs
j a s
j @ D k 7
si1  ai1 fi1  3G Dkni1 76 : 42G i  1  1
2  5 87
1 csj Dk 3 j1 1 cs Dk
@ ei1

where  Thus, substituting Eqs. (3), (86) and (87) into Eq. (73), the consistent
2 asj tangent modulus is obtained as
fi1 strial  i
1 c s
j D k @ ri1 1
i1 K1  1 2Ghi1 i  1  1
@ ei1 3
The yield function gives Eq. (60). Hence, the direction ni1 is deter-
 3Ghi1 ni1  ni1  e
c i1 88
mined exclusively in termsrof fi1
f 3
ni1 ~ i1
i1 where r kf k 78 where
r~ i1 2 i1
Therefore, combining Eqs. (60), (76)(78) renders the following hi1 1  89
r~ i1
nonlinear scalar equation
" #
C sj
~ i1  3G
0 hDk r Dk  Ri1 79 ~hi1 3G  1  hi1 90
1 csj Dk k
2  3
which is solved with the following Newton method 2   X 2 c s
a s
9G Dk 3 6 j j 7
 1 e i  ni1  ni1 : 4 i
2  ni1 5 91
@h k  
c i1
~ i1
kr 2
Dkk1 Dkk  Dk h Dkk 80 j1 1 c Dk
@ Dk j

@h k  3 k 4.1.3. Hardening region

Dk ni1
@ Dk 2 In the hardening region, the back stress definition is switched
2  3
2 csj asj 7 X2
C sj
from Eqs. (20)(22), (44), (45). A similar derivation to Section 4.1.2
2 5  3G  2 can be carried out. The nonlinear scalar equation to solve Dk is
j1 1 cs Dkk j1 1 cs Dkk obtained as
j j

@Ri1 k  0 hDk
 Dk 81 " !#
@ Dk X
C sj C lj
~ i1  3G
r Dk  Ri1 92
where the index k refers to the iteration steps. The update procedure
1 csj Dk 1 clj Dk
for memory surface and the size of yield surface is the same with
that in Section 4.1.1. Thus, from Eqs. (50), (56), (57), (68) and (70) where
@Ri1 k  s ry Q s  Ri @ CDk k  3
Dk b 2 Dk 82 r~ i1 kf k and fi1
@ Dk @ Dk 2 i1
1 b CDkk
0   1
8 X 2 asj alj
strial @ i A
i1  93
@ CDk k  < 0 @n
when CDkk 0 1 cj Dk 1 clj Dk
Dk Dkk Dkk @Di1k Dkk nk :ep ni j1
@ Dk : i1 i
when CDkk > 0
CDkk r i
To update the memory surface and the size of yield surface, Eqs.
83 (63), (64) and (70) are now modified as

where according to Eqs. (77) and (78) ni1 ni 1  cl CDkmi1 94

 2  3
P2 csj asj csj asj
6 k P2 7 k ri1 ri cl CDk 95
j1 i
2  432 ni1 : j1 i
2 5ni1
@ni1 k  1csj Dkk 1csj Dkk 
Dk l
Ri ry Q s Q l b CDk
@ Dk r~ k
i1 Ri1 l
84 1 b C Dk

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Eq. (92) is solved with Newton method as shown in Eq. (80), but Beginning of Analysis
@h k  3 k Define Initial Conditions
Dk ni1
@ Dk 2
0   1 Start of Step
c s
j a s
j c l
j a l
j C
: @ i
2 A  3G Start of Increment
k k
j1 1 cj Dk
1 cj Dk

0 1 Calculate Integration Point Field Variables from Nodal Values

X 2
B C s
j C l
j C
 @ 2 2 A Start of Iteration
k k
j1 1 cj Dks
1 cj Dk l

@Ri1  Calculate
 Dkk 97
@ Dk Call UMAT
where NDI=3 NDI=2
 s l 
@Ri1 l r y Q Q  R i @ C Dk
3D Solid Elements Plane Stress Elements
Dkk b 2 Dkk 98
@ Dk @ Dk
1 b CDkk
r st or st ?
p p p

Yes No
and @ CDk Dkk =@ Dk is defined in Eq. (83) but in which
0   1 Plateau Region Hardening Region
P2 B csj asj clj alj
j1 @
2 i
2 A Check the Bounding Condition
@ni1  1csj Dkk 1clj Dkk
Dkk l= s: s y < 0
@ Dk r~ k 2
2 0   13
csj asj clj alj Yes No
63 k P2 B C7 k
42 ni1 : j1 @ i
2 i
2 A5ni1 Inside the On the
1csj Dkk 1clj Dkk Bounding Bounding
Surface Surface
r~ i1
99 Update , SDVs, /

After convergence, the consistent tangent modulus is obtained as Obtain Element Stiffness Matrix [Kel]
Eq. (88) but in which
  Definition of System Stiffness Matrix [K]
9G2 Dk 3
c i1 i  ni1  ni1
kr ~ i1 2 Definition of Loads {F}
2 0   1 3
6 B
2 cs
j a s
j c l
j a l
j C 7 Solve [K]{U}={F}
: 4 @ i
2 A  ni1 5 100
j1 1 cj Dk
1 cj Dk
Write Output
4.2. Two-dimensional problem
No Yes
End of Step?
For a two-dimensional problem such as the plane-stress case,
the normal and transverse shear stresses are assumed to be zero, Fig. 6. Flow chart of UMAT in ABAQUS/Standard.
i.e., r3i  0 for i 1; 2; 3. This form of the equations make a simple r
radial return algorithm no longer applicable, but as proposed by 3 T
f r v Pv  R 0 where v r  b 105
Simo and Taylor [101], its viable to perform it directly in the con- 2
strained plane-stress subspace, where the general equations in
tensor form in Section 3 can be rephrased in vector form. Denote @f 3 Pv _
e_ p k_ k 106
the vector space of symmetric second order tensors by S, then @r 2 r 
the plane-stress subspace is denoted by
where r r11 r22 r12 T , e e11 e22 e12 T , b b11 b22 b12 T is the
SP : fr 2 Sjr13 r23 r33 0g 101 back stress vector hypothetically defined in SP , and the elastic stiff-
Similarly, the subspace of deviatoric symmetric second-order ten- ness matrix C and projection matrix P are defined as
sors is denoted by 2 3 2 3
1 m 0 2 1 0
E 6
0 7 6 7
SD : fs 2 Sjs13 s23 0; trs skk 0g 102 1
C 4 m 1 5 and P 4 1 2 0 5 107
1  m2 1m
Thus, Eqs. (1), (2), (6) and (8) are rewritten as 0 0 2 0 0 6
e ee ep 103 where E is elastic modulus and m is the Poisson ratio. The back stress
evolution in Eq. (20), (21) and (44) are now rewritten as, while mak-
r Ce e
104 ing use of Eq. (106)

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Please cite this article in press as: Hu F et al. Constitutive model for full-range elasto-plastic behavior of structural steels with yield plateau: Formulation
and implementation. Eng Struct (2016),