International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 163, Issue 1–2, pp 133–149 | Cite as

A multi-stage return algorithm for solving the classical damage component of constitutive models for rocks, ceramics, and other rock-like media

  • R. M. BrannonEmail author
  • S. Leelavanichkul
Original Paper


Classical plasticity and damage models for porous quasi-brittle media usually suffer from mathematical defects such as non-convergence and non-uniqueness. Yield or damage functions for porous quasi-brittle media often have yield functions with contours so distorted that following those contours to the yield surface in a return algorithm can take the solution to a false elastic domain. A steepest-descent return algorithm must include iterative corrections; otherwise, the solution is non-unique because contours of any yield function are non-unique. A multi-stage algorithm has been developed to address both spurious convergence and non-uniqueness, as well as to improve efficiency. The region of pathological isosurfaces is masked by first returning the stress state to the Drucker–Prager surface circumscribing the actual yield surface. From there, steepest-descent is used to locate a point on the yield surface. This first-stage solution, which is extremely efficient because it is applied in a 2D subspace, is generally not the correct solution, but it is used to estimate the correct return direction. The first-stage solution is projected onto the estimated correct return direction in 6D stress space. Third invariant dependence and anisotropy are accommodated in this second-stage correction. The projection operation introduces errors associated with yield surface curvature, so the two-stage iteration is applied repeatedly to converge. Regions of extremely high curvature are detected and handled separately using an approximation to vertex theory. The multi-stage return is applied holding internal variables constant to produce a non-hardening solution. To account for hardening from pore collapse (or softening from damage), geometrical arguments are used to clearly illustrate the appropriate scaling of the non-hardening solution needed to obtain the hardening (or softening) solution.


Plasticity Return algorithms Rock-like media Pathologies of yield functions Damage Uniqueness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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