Elastic-plastic transition in three-dimensional random materials: Massively parallel simulations, fractal morphogenesis and scaling functions

J. Li, A. Saharan, S. Koric, M. Ostoja-Starzewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Elastic-plastic transitions were investigated in three-dimensional (3D) macroscopically homogeneous materials, with microscale randomness in constitutive properties, subjected to monotonically increasing, macroscopically uniform loadings. The materials are cubic-shaped domains (of up to 100 x 100 x 100 grains), each grain being cubic-shaped, homogeneous, isotropic and exhibiting elastic-plastic hardening with a J 2 flow rule. The spatial assignment of the grains' elastic moduli and/or plastic properties is a strict-white-noise random field. Using massively parallel simulations, we find the set of plastic grains to grow in a partially space-filling fractal pattern with the fractal dimension reaching 3, whereby the sharp kink in the stress-strain curve of individual grains is replaced by a smooth transition in the macroscopically effective stress-strain curve. The randomness in material yield limits is found to have a stronger effect than that in elastic moduli. The elastic-plastic transitions in 3D simulations are observed to progress faster than those in 2D models. By analogy to the scaling analysis of phase transitions in condensed matter physics, we recognize the fully plastic state as a critical point and, upon defining three order parameters (the 'reduced von-Mises stress', 'reduced plastic volume fraction' and 'reduced fractal dimension'), three scaling functions are introduced to unify the responses of different materials. The critical exponents are universal regardless of the randomness in various constitutive properties and their random noise levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2733-2758
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophical Magazine
Volume92
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012

Keywords

  • Critical exponent
  • Elastic-plastic transition
  • Fractals
  • Random material
  • Scaling function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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