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Section 8.

Strain Hardening
In the applications discussed in the preceding sections, the material was assumed to be perfectly plastic. The issue of strain hardening materials is addressed in this section.


Strain Hardening

In the one-dimensional (uniaxial test) case, a specimen will deform up to yield and then generally harden, Fig. 8.6.1. Also shown in the figure is the perfectly-plastic idealisation (horizontal line). In the perfectly plastic case, once the stress reaches the yield point (A), plastic deformation ensues, so long as the stress is maintained at Y. If the stress is reduced, elastic unloading occurs. In the strain-hardening case, once yield occurs, the stress needs to be continually increased in order to drive the plastic deformation. If the stress is held constant, for example at B, no further plastic deformation will occur; at the same time, no elastic unloading will occur. Note that this condition cannot occur in the perfectly-plastic case, where there is one of plastic deformation or elastic unloading. stress strain-hardening



Yield point Y

elastic unload


Figure 8.6.1: uniaxial stress-strain curve (for a typical metal) These ideas can be extended to the multiaxial case, where one now has a yield surface rather than a yield point. In the perfectly plastic case, the yield surface remains the same size and shape. For plastic deformation, the stress state must be on the yield surface and remain on the yield surface. For elastic unloading, the stress state must move back inside the yield surface. For the strain-hardening material, the yield surface must change in some way so that an increase in stress is necessary to induce further plastic deformation. This can be done in a number of ways. Before looking at how the yield surface might change, consider first the related topic of the loading function. The Loading Function The yield surface is in general described by a function of the form

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

f ( ij ) = 0


Suppose that the stress state, represented by the vector in stress space, is such that one is on the yield surface, Fig. 8.6.2. The normal vector to the surface is n. An increment in stress d now takes place. The notions of (plastic) loading, neutral loading and (elastic) unloading are then defined through:
n d < 0 n d = 0 n d > 0

unloading neutral loading loading


As in 8.3.19-20, a normal to the surface is f / , so this scalar product can be expressed as

n d = f f f d 1 + d 2 + d 3 , 1 2 3


or, for a general 6-dimensional stress space,

f d ij ij


As mentioned above, neutral loading does not occur for the perfectly plastic material. In this case, the criteria for loading and unloading can be expressed as
n d < 0 n d = 0

unloading loading


Because of its importance (definition) in describing the loading pattern, the yield surface function f is also called the loading function.
neutral loading

d loading

d unloading

Figure 8.6.2: Loading and unloading in stress space

Initially, the loading function is the initial yield surface. Increments of stress inducing loading in the strain hardening case then produce a new loading function, as illustrated in 8.6.3. Further increments in stress must again satisfy n d > 0 , where f and n now refer to the new loading function.

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

d d
initial yield surface

new loading surface

Figure 8.6.3: A new loading surface, due to stressing to outside the initial yield surface

Strain Softening

Materials can also strain soften, for example soils. In this case, the stress-strain curve turns down, as in Fig. 8.6.4. The loading function for such a material will in general decrease in size with further straining. stress


Figure 8.6.4: uniaxial stress-strain curve for a strain-softening material


Changes in the Loading Function

Isotropic Hardening

The simplest means by which the loading function (yield surface) can change is through isotropic hardening. This is where the loading function remains the same shape but expands with increasing stress, Fig. 8.6.5.

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

subsequent yield surface initial yield surface

elastic unloading

plastic deformation (hardening) stress at initial yield elastic loading

Figure 8.6.5: isotropic hardening

Kinematic Hardening

The isotropic model implies that, if the yield strength in tension and compression are initially the same, i.e. the yield surface is symmetric about the stress axes, they remain equal as the yield surface develops with plastic strain. In order to model the Bauschinger effect, and similar responses, where a strain hardening in tension will lead to a softening in a subsequent compression, one can use the kinematic hardening rule. This is where the yield surface remains the same shape and size but merely translates in stress space, Fig. 8.6.6.

elastic loading

elastic unloading

plastic deformation (hardening)

stress at initial yield

initial yield surface

subsequent yield surface

Figure 8.6.6: kinematic hardening

Other Hardening Rules

More complex models can be used, for example the mixed hardening rule, which combines features of both the isotropic and kinematic hardening models.

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6


The Flow Curve

In order to predict and describe the possible changes to the loading function outlined in the previous section, one can introduce the concept of the flow curve. Strain hardening in the uniaxial tension test can be described using a relationship of the form

= h( p )


A typical plot, the flow curve, of this function for a strain-hardening material is shown in Fig. 8.6.7. The slope of this flow curve is the plastic modulus, Eqn. 8.1.9,
H= d d p


H d d p

= h ( p )

Figure 8.6.7: uniaxial stress plastic strain curve (for a typical metal)

In the multi-axial case, one needs again a flow curve, of the form 8.6.6, but one which relates a complex three-dimensional stress state to a corresponding three dimensional state of plastic strain. This formidable task is usually tackled by defining an effective stress and an effective strain, which describe in a simple way the amount of stress and plastic strain, and then by relating these effective parameters using an expression equivalent to 8.6.6.
Effective Stress
Introduce an effective stress , some function of the stresses, which reduces to the stress 1 in the uniaxial case. It is to be a measure of the amount of stress in the general 3D stress state. Since the loading function determines whether additional plastic flow takes place, the effective stress can be defined through f.

The yield function can usually be expressed in the form

f ( ij , k ) = F ( ij ) k = 0


Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

where k is a material parameter. Consider first the case of isotropic hardening (kinematic hardening will be considered in a later section). As plastic strain accumulates, the shape of the yield surface, as described by F ( ij ) , remains the same. If one writes
F ( ij ) = C n


then the effective stress is guaranteed to reduce to 1 in the uniaxial case. For example, for the Von Mises material,
1 2 2 2 ( 1 2 ) + ( 2 3 ) + ( 3 1 ) 6 With 1 = , 2 = 3 = 0 , one has n = 1, c = 1 / 3 and = 1 2
3 2

1/ 2

= C n


( 1 2 )2 + ( 2 3 )2 + ( 3 1 )2
(8.6.11) sij sij

= 3J 2 =

This is the Von Mises stress 8.3.11, and equals the yield stress in uniaxial tension at first yield, but it must increase in some way with strain hardening in order to continue to drive plastic deformation. Similarly, the effective stress for the Drucker-Prager yield criterion is {Problem 1} =

I 1 + J 2 + 1/ 3


which reduces to 8.6.11 when = 0 .

Effective Plastic Strain

The idea now is to introduce an effective plastic strain so a plot of the effective stress against the effective plastic strain can be used to determine the multi-axial hardening behaviour. The two most commonly used means of doing this are to define an effective plastic strain increment: (i) (ii) which is a similar function of the plastic strains as the effective stress is of the deviatoric stresses by equating the plastic work (per unit volume), also known as the plastic dissipation,

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

dW p = ij d ijp


to the plastic work done by the effective stress and effective plastic strain: dW p = d p (8.6.14)

Consider first method (i), which is rather intuitive and non-rigorous. The deviatoric stress and plastic strain tensors are of a similar character. In particular, their traces are zero, albeit for different physical reasons; J 1 = 0 because of independence of hydrostatic pressure, the first invariant of the plastic strain tensor is zero because of material incompressibility in the plastic range: d iip = 0 . For this reason, one chooses the effective plastic strain (increment) d p to be a similar function of d ijp as is of the s ij .
For example, for the Von Mises material one has 8.6.11, =
3 2

sij sij . Thus one

chooses d p = C d ijp d ijp , where the constant C is to ensures that the expression reduces to d p = d 1p in the uniaxial case. Considering this uniaxial case, p p p p d 11 = d 1 , d 22 = d 33 = 1 d 1p , one finds that 2
d p =
2 3

d ijp d ijp

2 = 3


p 1

p 2 2

) + (d

p 2

p 2 3

) + (d

p 3

p 2 1


Consider now method (ii). Consider also the Prandtl-Reuss flow rule, Eqn. 8.4.1, d ip = s i d (other flow rules will be examined more generally in 8.7). In that case, working with principal stresses, the plastic work increment is (see Eqns. 8.2.7-10) dW p = i d ip = i si d = (8.6.16) 1 ( 1 2 )2 + ( 2 3 )2 + ( 3 1 )2 d 3

Using the effective stress 8.6.11 and 8.6.14 then gives, again with d ip = si d ,
d p = 2 3 2 = 3

( 1 2 )2 + ( 2 3 )2 + ( 3 1 )2 d


p 1

p 2 2

) + (d

p 2

p 2 3

) + (d

p 3

p 2 1


This is the same expression as derived using method (i), Eqn. 8.6.15, but this is so only for the Von Mises yield condition; it will not be so in general.

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

Note also that, in this derivation, the Von Mises term J 2 conveniently appeared in the Prandtl-Reuss work expression 8.6.16. It will be shown in the next section that this is no coincidence, and that the Prandtl-Reuss flow-rule is indeed naturally associated with the Von-Mises criterion.
Prandtl-Reuss Relations in terms of Effective Parameters

With the definitions 8.6.11, 8.6.15 for effective stress and effective plastic strain, one can now write {Problem 2} d = 3 d p 2 (8.6.18)

and the Prandtl-Reuss (Levy-Mises) plastic strain increments can be expressed as

p d xx = d p / xx 1 ( yy + zz ) 2 p d yy p d zz p d xy p d yz p yy

d or

p zx

( )[ = (d / )[ = (d / )[ = (d / ) = (d / ) = (d / )


1 ( xx + yy 2

1 ( zz + xx 2

] )] )]

3 2

p p


xy yz zx

3 2

3 2

d ijp =

3 d p s . ij 2


A relation between the effective stress and the effective plastic strain will now make equations 8.6.19 complete.
The Flow Curve

The flow curve can now be plotted for any test and any conditions, by plotting the effective stress against the effective plastic strain. The idea (hope) is that such a curve will coincide with the uniaxial flow curve. If so, the strain hardening behaviour for new conditions can be predicted by using the uniaxial flow curve, that is, it is taken that the effective stress and effective plastic strain for any conditions are related through 8.6.6, = h( p ) and the effective plastic modulus is given by (8.6.21)

H ( ) =

d d p


Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

The total accumulated effective plastic strain is p = d p = d H ( ) (8.6.23)

which is a function of effective stress only. The inverse of this expression will be
= ( p ) = d p
Work Hardening


The hardening rule 8.6.21 describes how the yield surface evolves. It is a function of the effective plastic strain, hence the term strain hardening. An alternative procedure to describe the hardening process is to plot stress, not against plastic strain, but against the plastic work. Directly from Fig. 8.6.1, by evaluating the area beneath the stress plastic strain curve, one can obtain the plot shown in Fig. 8.6.8. Here, the stress is expressed in the form

= w(W p ) = w d p

( )


The flow curve for arbitrary loading conditions is then = w W p = w d p . Eqn. 8.6.25 is called a work hardening rule.

d dW p

= w(W p )

W p = d p

Figure 8.6.8: uniaxial stress plastic work curve (for a typical metal)

. When the effective stress and effective plastic strain are defined using Eqns. 8.6.13 8.6.14, then dW p = d p and the strain hardening and work hardening rules are equivalent. In that case the plastic modulus is H ( ) = d d dW p d = = p p p d dW d dW p (8.6.26)

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6


Application: Combined Tension/Torsion of a thin walled tube with Isotropic Hardening

Consider again the thin-walled tube, now brought to the point of yield through tension and then subjected to a twist whilst maintaining the axial stress constant, at the initial tensile yield stress. The Prandtl-Reuss equations in terms of effective stress and effective plastic strain, 8.6.19, reduce to
d xx = 1 d p d xx + xx E

d yy = d zz = d xy =

d xx

1 d p xx 2


1 + 3 d p d xy + xy 2 E

Maintaining xx at a value Y0 and introducing the plastic modulus 8.6.22,

d xx =

d yy = d zz = d xy

1 1 d Y 0 2H 1 + 3 1 d = d xy + xy E 2H

1 d Y 0 H


Using the terminology of Eqn. 8.6.8, the Von Mises condition is

f = F ( , ) k = 0,


1 3

Y02 + 3 2 ,




and the effective stress is = 3F = Y02 + 3 2 . The expansion of the yield surface

is shown in Fig. 8.6.9 (see Fig. 8.3.2).

Y0 / 3
plastic loading


Figure 8.6.9: expansion of the yield locus for a thin-walled tube under isotropic hardening

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

d xx = Y0 d 2 H + Y02 / 3 1 Y0 d 2 2 H + Y02 / 3

d yy = d zz = d xy =


1 + 3 1 2 d d + E 2 H 2 + Y02 / 3

These equations can now be integrated. If the material is linear hardening, so H is constant, then they can be integrated exactly using
x 1 2 2 x 2 + a 2 dx = 2 ln x + a ,

x2 x x 2 + a 2 dx = x a arctan a


leading to {Problem 3}

2 1 E E 1 + 3 2 xx = 1 + ln 2H Y0 Y0 2 E E E 1 + 3 2 yy = zz = ln 4H Y0 Y0 Y0
E xy = (1 + ) Y Y0 0


3 E 1 + arctan 3 2H Y Y 3 0 0

Results are presented in Fig. 8.6.10 for the case of = 0.3, E / H = 10 . The axial strain grows logarithmically and is eventually dominated by the faster-growing shear strain.

E Y0








Figure 8.6.10: Stress-strain curves for thin-walled tube with isotropic linear strain hardening

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6


Kinematic and Mixed Hardening

In the above, hardening rules have been discussed and used for the case of isotropic hardening. In kinematic hardening, the yield surface translates in stress-space, in which case Eqn. 8.6.8 take the general form

f ( ij , k , ij ) = F ( ij ij ) k = 0


The stress ij is known as the back-stress; the yield surface is shifted relative to the stress-space axes by ij , Fig. 8.6.11.


initial yield surface

subsequent loading surface

Figure 8.6.11: kinematic hardening; a shift by the back-stress

There are many hardening rules which define how the back stress depends on development of plastic strain. The simplest is the linear kinematic (or Pragers) hardening rule,

ij = c ijp

or d ij = cd ijp


where c is a material constant. Thus the yield surface is translated in the same direction as the plastic strain increment. This is illustrated in Fig. 8.6.12, where the principal directions of stress and plastic strain are superimposed.

2 , d 2p

d p
p d = cd

1 , d 1p

Figure 8.6.12: Linear kinematic hardening rule

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

Zieglers hardening rule is

d ij = da ijp ( ij ij )

( )


where a is some scalar function of the plastic strain, for example da = d p , where p is the effective plastic strain and is a material constant. Here, then, the loading function translates in the direction of ij ij , Fig. 8.6.13.

Figure 8.6.13: Zieglers kinematic hardening rule

When there is a combination of isotropic and kinematic hardening, then the hardening rule will be of the form
f = F ( ij ij ) k p = 0

( )



The Consistency Condition

It has been seen that the loading function can in general be expressed in the form

f ( ij , ) = 0


where represents one or more hardening parameters, which are zero when there is no plastic loading. For example, in isotropic hardening, 8.6.37 can be written in the form 8.6.8 through
f ( ij , k ) = F ( ij ) k = F ( ij ) (Y + ) = 0


Alternatively, for kinematic hardening, the hardening parameter is related to the ij in 8.6.33 (see 8.8). There are two hardening parameters in the mixed hardening rule 8.6.36. The hardening parameters themselves depend on other variables, for example the plastic strain. The increment in f can now be described by

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

df =

f f d ij + d ij


The second term here is zero when there is no plastic straining or perfect plasticity. When there is plastic deformation, then, for the stress to remain on the yield surface, i.e. for the yield criterion to remain satisfied, one must satisfy the following consistency condition:
df = f f d ij + d = 0 ij


Thus the stress state and also the hardening parameters change to ensure the yield criterion remains satisfied.



1. Use the general formula 8.6.9, F ( ij ) = C n , to derive an expression for the

Drucker-Prager materials effective stress, Eqn. 8.6.12. 2. Derive Eqns. 8.6.20, d = 3 d p 2

3. Integrate Eqns. 8.6.30 and use the initial (first yield) conditions to get Eqns. 8.6.32. 4. Consider the combined tension-torsion of a thin-walled cylindrical tube. The tube is made of an isotropic hardening Von Mises metal with uniaxial yield stress Y0 . The strain-hardening is linear with plastic modulus H. The tube is loaded, keeping the ratio / = 3 at all times throughout the elasto-plastic deformation Show that the stresses and strains at first yield are given by (i) 1 1 1 Y0 1 + v Y0 Y Y Y0 , Y = Y0 , xx = , xy = Y = 2 6 2 E 6 E Use the hardening rule 8.6.18 to express the Prandtl-Reuss equations (ii) 8.6.18 in terms of effective stress and only. Eliminate using / = 3 . (iii) Eliminate the effective stress to obtain 1 1 d xx = d + d E H 1 1 + 3 1 d xy = d + d 2 H 3 E Solve the differential equations and evaluate any constants of integration (iv) Hence, show that the strains at the final stress values = Y0 , = Y0 / 3 (v) are given by

Solid Mechanics Part II



Section 8.6

E E 1 xx = 1 + 1 Y0 H 2 E 1 + 3 E 1 xy = + 1 Y0 2 H 3 2

Solid Mechanics Part II