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22,769-788 (1986)




Department of Structural Mechanics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg. Sweden.

Numerical techniques applied to the consistent formulation of plasticity, which is based on convex analysis,
are investigated. For each time step the stress is found as the projection in complementary energy of the
elastic stress onto the set of plastically admissible stresses, while the velocity field is the extremal of a
non-quadratic functional. Explicit formulas for von Mises’ yield criterion with mixed hardening are
developed and the nonlinear equations arising from finite element discretization are solved, for comparison,
by a number of Newton-type iteration procedures with line search and arc-length control. A few numerical
examples with proportional and non-proportional loading are analyzed.

Finite element algorithms for the solution of problems in small deformation incremental plasticity
are commonly based on explicit integration (forward extrapolation) for advancing the solution
stepwise in time. Such methods always involve the use of the matrix of tangent stiffness (or
flexibility) moduli. Consequently, the stress increment will be tangential to the yield surface (for
perfect plasticity), and so the final stress may be plastically inadmissible. As there is no more
information inherent in the formulation, the yield condition may be satisfied in a somewhat
arbitrary fashion and, consequently, a number of procedures have been suggested in the
Since the early developments by Yamada et at.’ and Zienkiewicz et an extensive amount
of work has been devoted to the development of displacement methods for associated and
non-associated flow rules and for a variety of yield criteria.
Mixed methods (approximating the displacement and stress fields independently), which are
based on the matrix of tangent flexibility moduli, have also been d e ~ e l o p e d but ~ . ~ have not
enjoyed a great deal of success in practical use.
Although the explicit algorithms are based on the tangential behaviour there is, of course, no
need to use this matrix in the iteration to achieve equilibrium. Initial stress algorithms, which
use the elastic stiffness matrix, have been used extensively and are (still) efficient for special
problems like in layered media.697Some popularity has been gained by the fictitious viscoplasticity
approach (which is also of initial stress type) by which the iteration process is simulated by the
creeping of a (fictitious) viscoplastic material until steady state is achieved.8 However, the formal
use of Newton-type methods may be more generally efficient.’*’’
Because of the ambiguity in stress evaluation the methods above may be called ‘inconsistent’,
and no unique soIution can be expected for a certain load (time) increment. In fact, the choice
of iteration matrix may affect the result.

0029-598 1/86/060769-20$10.00 Received July I985

c> 1986 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Recent developments involve the use of implicit schemes for time integration and are to a
great extent based on convex ana1ysis."-l3 Provided an associated flow rule is used, the
displacement rate in each time step is defined as the extremal of a non-quadratic functional,
wbich is convex in the case of a non-softening material. The finite element algorithm for
von Mises' yield criterion with linear hardening deviced by Johnson14 was used by Samuelsson
and Froier,"" who adopted the elastic stiffness matrix for iteration without optimization in
the search direction. Runesson and Booker' investigated a few iteration methods including line
search for von Mises' and Tresca's yield criteria while perfect plasticity was assumed. While
'state' projection (in the generalized stress space including the hardening variable) was adopted
by J o h n ~ o n , thereby
'~ restricting the analysis to convex hardening, an algorithm for the unified
analysis of isotropic hardening and softening was developed by Runesson.18
Johnson and Scott" suggested the introduction of displacement discontinuity between
elements so that local plastic yielding can be accounted for (including the yield line theory as
the extreme case when no deformation at all occurs within the elements). The limit
analysis problem in perfect plasticity has been addressed by Casciaro and Cascini2' and
Aristodemo et al.,'l who used the elastic stiffness matrix for iteration but introduced an arc-length
method to efficiently monitor the solution in the vicinity of the limit load.
Some aspects on the choice of time integration method and iteration procedure with respect
to hardening and softening behaviour are considered in this paper. In particular, the true and
modified Newton methods are compared with a class of modified BFGS methods with line
searches of various degree of elaboration. Advancement control is handled by an arc-length
constraint including prescribed displacements. The constraint is satisfied iteratively in two
alternative ways.


Constitutive relations
Plastically admissible combinations of the stress a and the hardening variables K,, v = 1,2,. . .
(which are normally tensors of even rank) are defined by the set B
B = { (c,K Y ): F(a,K Y ) 6 o} (14
where F(a, K,) =0 is the state boundary surface. We may also define B*(K,)c B
B*(K,) = {a:F*(a)6 o} (1b)
F*(o) = F(C, KY)
where F*(a) = 0 defines the current convex yield surface. The initial yield surface is obtained
for K, = 0.
The constitutive equations in small deformation plasticity with an associated flow rule may
be written,"

where D is the tensor of elastic stiffness moduli, E(U) = (Vu + uV)/2 is the strain (operator), ip
is the rate of plastic strain, and rv are tensors accounting for the appropriate hardening law.
The presence of ISPI in (2c) accounts for the fact that evolution of hardening will only take

place in plastic loading accompanied by development of plastic strains. We may observe that
the stress rate 6 should, for small hardening, be replaced by an objective measure.23

Plasticity problem
Applying the generalized midpoint rule for time integration the solution at t,+ = t,, + Af may
be found as
-c-- 1-a
c n + 1 = 0"
a c(

u,+ = U, + Atv
where 0 < a < 1. The discrete values (0,K,,, v) satisfy the following relations
- v . O = f, f=f(t,+aAt)
(0 - z).D-'.(o - aE)< 0, V teB*
K, = K , , ~ aAtldP(r,, r, = r,,(tn CI At) +
in the region R under consideration together with boundary conditions on the displacement rate
and stresses. We have introduced the load f = f ( t , + a At), the (fictitious) elastic stress cE and the
strain rates d and dP defined by
cE= 0, + aAtD.d (54


As D is always positive definite the inequality (4b) implies that (r is the projection of cE onto
B* in complementary elastic energy, i.e. IT is the solution of
min loE- TI:, 1~1: =z.D-'.t (6)

Combining (2a) and (5) we may also obtain the plastic strain
E:+, =E:+AtdP (7)
where dP is given in (5b).
We may define the local Hessian tensor DH(&)
and the local tangent stiffness tensor D,

which means that D, represents the tendency in behaviour just when a new load increment is
applied. This is clearly what is traditionally considered as the tangent stiffness. While DH(&) can
be evaluated explicitly only in those cases when G(E) can be found explicitly, it is formally
possible to differentiate F(o, K,) = 0 as to find D, in the usual way for (assumed) plastic loading.

The projection (6a) can be found explicitly only for simple yield criteria and hardening rules.
The difference between the elastic and plastic solution cf - (r is, of course, in general not the
Euclidian normal to the current yield surface, Figure 1.



Figure I . Stress projection

0.1 O<a<1

Figure 2. Characteristics of projected stress

Regarding the choice of a,defining the time integration, one can foresee an oscillating behaviour
of IS,+ with respect to plastic admissibility when a < 1. Such behaviour is indicated in Figure 2,
where the projection is taken normal to the yield surface for simplicity. However, numerical
experiments have shown that the overall behaviour need not be strongly influenced (as is shown
in one numerical example below). As IS,+ is always ensured to be plastically admissible when
LY = 1, this choice seems appealing.
If one single projection is considered, one may also conclude that LY = 1 corresponds to the
most flexible behaviour. In fact, if a,Eint B* one may predict purely elastic response for a < rE,
where aE is small enough.24 As the stiffness is always overestimated when a ‘conforming’
(in sense of elasticity) finite element approximation is used, we have another reason for
choosing a = 1.
Partly plastic loading during a time step, i.e. the material goes from the elastic to the plastic
state, presents no extra difficulty. This contrasts to the inconsistent methods, for which various
procedures have been devised to deal with this situation.’ As far as the stress evaluation is
concerned, the presence of softening does not seem to present any difficulty either.
Furthermore, AG = IS^ + - G, is uniquely determined by A&= At&(v) even if the yield surface
is non-smooth. It is well known that such uniqueness may not hold for rates, as for a surface
with corners the constitutive inequality (2b) admits ip= 6 - D.E(I~) to vary within limits

determined by the corner angle. This ambiguity must be considered when using the conventional
(inconsistent) approach.

Von Mises' yield criterion and mixed hardening rule

Von Mises yield criterion with mixed hardening' 'vZ6 is defined by
F(o, ti, a) = 3 - sy(ti), s=o-a (9)
where S = Isdl/c is the equivalent stress, s is the reduced stress (due to kinematic hardening),
sy is the current reduced yield stress determined from a suitable test, and c is a scaling constant
(c =J2/3 in uniaxial stress). Subscript d denotes a deviator quantity. Furthermore, ti is the
equivalent plastic strain controlling isotropic hardening/softening while a is a second rank tensor
controlling kinematic hardening.

= ~HL(ti)l?-= cdy(ti)-sd
bdl Isdl

Comparing with (2c) while letting ti1 = K, K, = a , we obtain (lOa, b) with the choice r l = c,
r2 = C2HL(K)Sd/lSdl.
From the (uniaxial) test we may obtain the plastic tangent moduli H' = doy/dti, where cy(ti)is
the current yield stress, and H:=da,/dti, where ay(ti)is the current translated origin of the
stress-strain curve defining the Bauschinger effect (see Figure 3). For fixed ti we have
d y = sy + c l y .
Isotropic hardening is clearly defined by ay=O, i.e. H h = O and thus a=O. Kinematic
hardening is defined by sy = constant, i.e. H a = H'.
When isotropic elasticity defined by the moduli G (or E ) and K is assumed, the complementary
elastic energy in general stress space is obtained as

(1 1)

Using the notations s E = o E - a ,t = z - a we may find o = s + a , where s is the solution of

Figure 3. Test curve displaying mixed hardening

the translated problem in (6), i.e. s is the solution of

t€B: ttB.* "

min IsE - t1,2 = min -1s;
- ti2
+ -(sE - t,)2
B,* = {t :F,*(t)< O}
W t ) = - Itdl - SY(4

The solution of (12) is

s = 71s; + sE,& (1 3a)
where 6 is Kronecker's delta and n is the Euclidean projection operator so that we obtain

where SE = Is;l/c (see Figure 4). Combining (lOa, b) with (13a,b) we may now summarize:
CE (E)

HSEs f j + s ~ , +
&a (P)

where q = c2E/2G.


,a)= 0

Figure 4. Stress projection for mixed hardening


Given aE we may thus solve for (a,IC, a ) if the one-dimensional test functions sY(lc)and cty(.)
are known. Due to the implicit character of IC, the solution has in practice to be found iteratively
for a given aE.
The solution of the projection outlined above holds in general stress space and in plane strain.
It seems to be convenient to work in the complete stress space also in plane stress problems for
which the plane stress condition, say (T, = 0, has to be imposed explicitly, i.e. (6) is replaced by

B&(K,a)= {a:F*(a)<O,oz=O} (15b)
In practice the solution may be obtained using Lagrangian multipliers.
In order to use true Newton iteration in the finite element procedure, DH(&) must be explicitly
evaluated. After some tedious but straightforward algebra, where use is made of (14a, b, c), the
following expression for plastic loading in the general stress space is obtained:
D, =D -- 2G [(1 - P)(I - $56) + (P - $, - r( 1 - t,h,))aa (16)
where I is the identity tensor and where the further notations have been introduced:

$,(4= 1 -(1VHSIE
H,= H - H,

where sy, H , and H , are functions of K ( E ) ; see also Figure 3.

Isotropic hardening, defined by H a =0, yields H , = H , t,hs = t,h and thus q = 1 and r =O.
Kinematic hardening, defined by H , = 0, yields H , = H , I,$,= $, cp, = cp.
For plane stress it does not seem to be possible to find any explicit expression for the Hessian
stiffness. A feasible way is, however, to impose plane stress explicitly by partinverting D,
appropriately and so arrive at the ‘right’ properties in each iteration.


Formulation f o r solution advancement control

When tracing the solution of a nonlinear evolution problem, like in the flow theory of plasticity,
it is essential to choose time steps small enough to obtain a certain level of accuracy, yet large

enough to ensure computational efficiency. Especially in the vicinity of the failure load it is
difficult to select the time step properly without rigorously controlling the solution behaviour.
A simple ‘explicit’ technique may be deviced by extrapolating the behaviour at the previous
time stations. ‘Implicit’ schemes are normally based on the arc-length method originally proposed
by R i k s Z 7 A linearized version of this method has been suggested by Rammz8 and was used
by Casciaro and Cascini” for consistently formulated plasticity (as in this paper); however
for the special case of perfect plasticity and proportional loading. An ‘indirect’ version (see
comment below) of the arc-length method was proposed by C r i ~ f i e l d , ’ . ~adopting
~ the
conventional tangent stiffness formulation.
Given the nodal displacements u, at time t , updated values u , , at time t,+ = t , + A are
obtained (adopting matrix notation):
u,+~=u,+Au (17)
The time increment A and the (free) nodal velocities u are to be determined from a discretized
variational formulation
s(u, 4= f ( 4 (18)
where s is the internal nodal force vector

S(U, A) = BTc(6(u,A)) d o , S(U,A) = Ad(v, A) (19)

and f is the external nodal force vector corresponding to applied load at tn+ It is then assumed
(to simplify notation) that the backward Euler method (a = 1) is used for time integration. Clearly,
the time increment 1 cannot be determined from (18) without an extra constraint on the
load-displacement path.
In order to be able to represent the prescribed displacements by (17) one may introduce
the mean velocities 6, in the interval (tn,t , + A)

The strain rate d is obtained via the strain matrix B in the usual way
d(0, A) = BU+ Bp6,(A) (21)
Upon introducing the out-of-balance forces g
Y(U, 2) = 4%4- f ( 4
and an extra scalar condition c(u, A) =0 representing the arc-length constraint one may solve
u and ,

g(u, = 0
c(u, A) = 0

and so an efficient iterative procedure is called for.

Arc-length constraint
The arc-length constraint function c is chosen as follows:

where Au and Aup denote free and prescribed displacement increments in the time step and where
the load increment A f is scaled by a representative elasticity modulus E to have the constraint
operating in the displacement space. Prescribed displacements are emphasized to a desired degree
by the factor y ( 0 6 y d 1). It appears natural to include prescribed variables in the load control
criterion that the constraint makes sense when A f = 0 while Au,, # 0. Furthermore, the constants
bD and flL are associated with pure displacement control and pure load control respectively.
The arc-length Ab may be given a priori by, say, prescribing the first time step.
A comment about terminology may be appropriate: Displacement control means that some
average value is assigned to the displacement increments (including those prescribed) while no
individual component can be prescribed a priori. Load (or time step) control on the other hand,
implies that the individual nodal values of prescribed displacements are determined a priori,
i.e. before the finite element equations have been solved.
Introducing the identity Au = Au and the scaling constraint p D + f i L = 1 into (23a) yields the
alternative expression (with p D = p).

Indirect approach
An indirect iteration procedure (indirect with respect to satisfying the arc-length constraint)
to calculate (u, A) from (22) may be designed as the following of Newton type: Given the solution
(u, A)i- in the (i - 1):th iteration, find

where (d, k)i are solved (formally) from the augmented system

and pi is obtained from line search (or may be set to unity).

Clearly, K should be close to the Hessian matrix K , defined by
KH(u,A) = -(u,
aU A) = A
Furthermore, q* should be close to qH = q
BTDH(S(y,A))BdQ, DH(Q= -

r, where q is the rate of loading, q ( I )= d f (A)/dA, and r

is defined by
as 1
r(u, A) = - -(0,A) = - - [KH(u,A)u
an A
+ K,,,(u, A)u,,(A)] (27)


and u,(A) is the 'true' rate of prescribed displacements.


In the normal case, K H , pis approximated by K , in the same spirit as K , is approximated by K in

(25). Thus y * is given as
q* = 4 - - ( K u
+ K,u,) (28)

When the prescribed displacements are proportional it is possible to scale time (which is fictitious
in plasticity anyway) so that up = 6,.
In order to preserve the topology of the standard finite element equation system it is convenient
to condense (25) in order to use K as the iteration matrix:

di = d: + -d;ki
i i -1

where d: and dy are solved from’ the two ‘ordinary’ sets of equations
K i - 1 d: = - g i - 1

and where, for a general constraint c = 0,

Taking the constraint (23b) explicitly into account gives

bi = 2ci- + Ab2 + uT- d; (33b)

where the approximations u p N U p = Au,/A and q 31 AflA have been used to obtain (33b).
Clearly, the solution (30) means just one extra backsubstitution if K i - if factorized directly
as in Newton (N) or Modified Newton (MN) iteration. When Quasi-Newton methods are used
(like BFGS and MBFGS; see definition below) the right-hand sides of (30a, b) have to be
manipulated before the formal back-substitution, which implies some extra work. The formation
of ki involves two extra vector multiplications.

Direct approach
In several papers29930 Crisfield advocates the use of the “indirect” approach, by which the
constraint c(u,A) = 0 is satisfied exactly in each iteration (motivating the name “direct” rather
than “indirect”). Using the conventional arc-length constraint Crisfield arrives at a quadratic
equation in Ai, which can readily be solved for. However, the constraint which is appropriate
for our purpose would give rise to a more complicated equation.
A direct approach which deviates slightly in principle from the indirect one starts from the
equations (24a, b) and (25). However, whereas the first equation in (22) is retained, the second
(constraint) is omitted and an attempt is made to fulfil ci= 0 exactly in each iteration according

to the algorithm:

where d: and dy are still given by (30a, b). Upon inserting (34a, b, c) into (35) one obtains, formally,
c ( k i ,p i ) = 0 (36)
by which the acceleration factor pi is coupled to ki and, consequently, affects the search direction
d i via (34c). This coupling can be avoided by simply setting pi = 1 in (36). In fact, p = 1 is almost
optimal anyway when K is close to the Hessian. Independently of this simplification line search
may be included in (34a, b, c).
Consider the case pi = 1 in (34a, b), which introduced into (35) yield a quartic equation in k i .
This equation can, of course, easily be solved by iteration. However, further simplification can
be achieved upon replacing (35) by
C ( V i , l i -,) = 0

which gives rise to the simple equation

alk? + a 2 k i + a3 = 0 (37)
a, = jqdj’12
a2 = 2/31i- vi’dj’
a3 = 2ci- ,+ I d:I2 + 221:- di)
and where the notation u: = ui- + di has been introduced.
This version of the direct approach is used in the numerical example below.

Line search
Any choice of K i - , may be supplemented with line search to optimize pi in order to get an
efficient algorithm. Crisfield’ has concluded that even ‘slack’ searches (like linear interpolation)
may be sufficient. To check this proposition for the present class of problem we may introduce
polynomial interpolation of arbitrary degree. Our aim is to find the root of I) = 0, where
$(Y) = Y(ui- 1 + ydiITdi (39)
For a polynomial of degree n - 1 we may consider the interval [0,1] and pick uniformly
distributed sample points yk from which a Lagrangian polynomial approximation may be
constructed as

$(PI= Lk(P)$(Yk) (40)

k= 1

The root dj of $ = 0 may easily be found by Newton iteration for any rz. In order to interpolate
accurately one should have $(0) > 0 and $(1) < 0.

It may be noted that, unlike the conventional situation with load control, one can not be sure
that $(O) > 0, where $(O) = gT- ,di, although K i _ ] is positive definite. This is due to the presence
of d; in (29).
The crudest method is linear interpolation

which requires only one extra evaluation of g. Even this may, however, involve substantial
computational effort. In particular the stress projection, which is performed in each iteration
point, may be costly due to the presence of two-level iteration loops (in plane stress).

Itrrution mutrix
The choice of iteration matrix is clearly most important in order to achieve computational
efficiency. A simple method (ES) is obtained if the elastic stiffness matrix S is used throughout,
i.e. K = I S . However, the rate of convergence will be slow, especially close to the limit load.
When the true Hessian can be found (as for von Mises' yield criterion) a suitable modified
Newton method (MN) is obtained by occasional updating. The crudest M N algorithm is defined
by K = ASH(vn),where u, is the solution for the previous time step. It is natural to choose D,as
the starting vector for the current time step.
A method which relates to the tangent stiffness method is obtained if we choose K = A S T ,
where S , = S,(O). However, this method seems not to have any computational advantage over
the choice S,(v,) as both require one factoring per time step, the exception being when S , cannot
be found explicitly. A numerical evaluation of the above method for perfect plasticity is due to
Runesson and Booker.'7
Quasi-Newton methods, especially the BFGS methods, have been advocated for plasticity
However, the true Newton method (N) was considered by Johnson3' to be
almost as efficient as BFGS and more reliable. In the example below we will use the notations
BFGS(E) and BFGS(H) for updates of the elastic stiffness and the Hessian matrix respectively.
In this paper we will compare N and BFGS with a class of modified BFGS-methods, the
simplest variant of which was originally suggested by C r i ~ f i e l d , ' , ~although
~ he advocates a
further simplified version, which we will term Crisfield's Secant Newton method (CSN). T o the
authors' knowledge neither of these methods seems to have been adopted for the consistent
formulation of plasticity outlined in this paper.
The m-step algorithm denoted MBFGS-m is defined in the following way to find the search
direction di:
For i = 1:
4 = -Bog,
B, =K; ' , K O is known
For i32:Let n = m i n ( i - 1,m)

B!") = K.- = ATB!")

i i-1Aij Bj"_,- 1 = B,
where m is the maximum number of steps in the algorithm and
A i= I + wiAvT, A u . = U . - V 1. - 1
I 1

The vector w iis defined in the same way as for the ordinary BFGS methods.31 It may be shown
that BIT), satisfy the secant condition.
In practice we may proceed in the following steps:
1 bj-l = A j - l b j , j = i , ..., i - n + 1
(bi = - Y i - 1)

3 c . = AT
j-lCj-1, j =i--n+ 1, ..., i
(di= ci)
Clearly, as long as i < m + 1 the algorithm coincides with the ordinary BFGS algorithm and
= Bi- 1.
The simplest algorithm MBFGS-1 is defined as
dl = - Boy0
d.= -@") r - 1 g. 1-1, i22
~ p= ,A;- ,B,&


Isoparametric eight-node elements were used. For simplicity the same integration rule ( 3 x 3
Gauss points) was adopted for the evaluation of the out-of-balance forces and the iteration
matrix. Convergence in the Newton-type iteration procedure after N iterations is checked by
comparing the errors emaxand eeucwith the tolerance 6,, i.e.

where 11.11 may be the maximum norm (e = emax)

or the normalized Euclidean norm ( e = eeuc).
Elastic response is denoted uE.

Rigid strip footing on cohesive soil

A rigid strip footing (plane strain) of width 2 B resting on cohesive sub-soil (which obeys
von Mises' yield criterion) was analysed for both hardening and softening behaviour, Figure 5.
The load settlement curves due to drawdown of the footing in 20 equal steps are shown in
Figure 6, where W denotes the average contact stress beneath the footing.
From the solution by Prandtl,34 lower and upper bounds of the collapse load W, for von
Mises' yield criterion are easily obtained as W,,/a, = 2.57 and W,,/a, = (2/J3)2.57 N 2.97.
Although the overshoot of the Prandtl-load is expected, considering the coarse mesh adopted,
the 'spurious' hardening inherent in the element approximation may be noted.
This behaviour, which is considerably more pronounced for the four-node quadrilateral,
is due to the inability of the finite element model to produce a singular Hessian (and tangent
stiffness) matrix. As we predicted above the overall response does not seem to be considerably
affected by the choice of c(, although it has been observed that fewer time increments will increase
the difference (which is demonstrated in Table I).

H/E = 0 0 5 H I


Figure 5. (a) Strip footing on elastic-plastic subsoil; (b) stress-strain behaviour

w /Is“

16 32

Figure 6. Load vs. central settlement for stiff footing on cohesive subsoil

Table I. Convergence with number of time steps (n)to reach EwlBa, = 32


n=l n=5 n=20 n=l n=5 n=20

Wla, 5.01 5.03 5.03 2.34 2.43 2.44

ff= EK/a, 8-73 8.90 8.95 28.94 24.31 23.37
CPU(s) 22 44 146 74 57 165
WbY - 5.74 4.96 - 3.06 2.32
a=O.5 EIC/(T, - 8.40 8.98 - 22.18 23.02
CPU(s) ~

53 X ~

58 170

The convergence properties for increasing number of time steps (increments of settlement) II
for isotropic hardening (case H) and isotropic softening (case S) are shown in Table I. The fact
that Hencky theory and flow theory seem to give close result is, however, problem dependent
and should be used with extreme care. The softening behaviour seems to be the more “difficult”
showing a slower rate of convergence than for hardening. The overall response represented by

Table 11. Required number of iterations ( N ) per time step

Time step no. 1 2 3 4 5 CPU

ES 14 18 16 24 18 190
BFGS(E) 10 11 8 11 11 84
MN 24 6 4 6 3 89
H MBFGS(H)-1 13 6 4 5 3 54
MBFGS(H)-2 13 6 4 5 3 54
BFGS(H) 11 6 4 5 3 52
N 4 3 3 3 3 44
ES 18 32 71 > 100 slow > 495
BFGS(E) 12 16 19 27 22 157
MN 38 14 17 no ~ ~

S MBFGS(H)-1 17 10 9 no - -

MBFGS(H)-2 17 10 9 no ~ ~

BFGS(H) 14 9 9 46 9 150
N 5 4 4 6 4 57

W is also converging faster than the local response represented by the effective plastic strain ti
(in a Gauss point marked in Figure 5). Furthermore the response for CY = 0.5 seems to oscillate
with respect to the converged result for a = 1. Finally, it may be noted that a < 1 does not make
any sense for n = 1.
The necessary number of iterations to achieve convergence within each time step is shown in
Table I1 for the choice CY = 1, n = 5 and 6, = l o p 3while different iteration matrices were adopted.
Letting the CPU-time involved be a measure of the efficiency, we may conclude that N is slightly
better than BFGS(H) for hardening, at least for this simple problem of monotonic proportional
loading. However, for softening behaviour the true Newton method should be used as it seems
to be both economical and reliable. Surprisingly, the methods of modified Newton type (including
those with MBFGS updates) all failed to converge, while BFGS(E) appeared to be almost as
efficient as BFGS(H). That the optimal choice of iteration matrix is, in fact, highly problem
dependent is also shown in the example below.
Each method was combined with line search, which may be “slack”, i.e. linear interpolation
gives almost as good prediction as, say cubic interpolation.

Cyclic behaviour of plate with central hole

A plate in plane stress with a central circular hole, (Figure 7a) is subjected to uniform extension.
The behaviour in cyclic loading was analysed for the extremes of isotropic and kinematic
hardening, where the uniaxial stress-strain relation is shown in Figure 7b.
The result for 3/4 cycle of displacement with amplitude w = 1 mm is shown in Figure 8. Each
quarter of the cycle was subdivided into 5 equal increments and CY = 1 was chosen. The modified
Newton schemes failed to handle the abrupt change in behaviour after the displacement
amplitudes were reached (indicated by N > 100). It is believed, however, that the behaviour of
any BFGS scheme should be considerably improved if the Hessian is updated in an automatic

I tc t"


008 OOBrn

Figure 7. (a) Plate with central hole; (b) stress-strain curve



- )c - kinematic

-10 +

Figure 8. Cyclic behaviour of plate with central hole

fashion (as to form a new K O )when the convergence rate becomes too slow. In Figure 8 is shown
the number of iterations ( N ) after which true Newton converged in the various time steps.

Nonproportional loading and displacement control

The perfectly plastic cohesive subsoil of Figure 5 is now loaded by two flexible strips with
different loading histories, (Figure 9).


Figure 9. Elasto-plastic subsoil (a) loaded by flexible strips according to two programs A and B (b)

Settlements w 1 and w 2 of the loads are calculated for two load programs (A and B) according
to three methods; direct and indirect arc-length with pure displacement control (b = 1) and
constant time steps A t = 0.1.
The settlements versus time are displayed in Figure 10. The calculated time steps and number
of iterations for a selection of steps are given in Table 111. Both the indirect and the direct
method yield, of course, the same size of the time steps. The direct arc-length method is more
effective than the indirect. However, the simple constant time step method seems in this case to
be the most effective.

24 W,(A)
t Calculated value
Interpolated value




Figure 10. Settlement of load vs. time for loading programs A and B

Table 111. Time increment and required number of iterations ( N ) per increment

Step no. Loading A Loading B


At Direct Indirect (At = 0.1) At Direct Indirect (At = 0.1)

1 0.100 2 2 2 0.100 2 2 2

3 0.100 1 1 1 0.100 1 1 1
4 0.098 4 7 4 0.098 4 7 4
5 0.062 9 11 4 0.062 9 11 4
6 0.057 18 29 4 0.052 16 21 4
7 0.152 8 12 3 0-108 7 12 3

17 0.092 6 12 3 0.066 5 10 2
18 0.088 4 8 3 0.060 5 10 2
19 0.077 5 10 3 0.474 47 84 3
20 0.067 8 10 4 0.594 6 7 2

CPUtotals: 323 622 142 332 538 147



Consistent methods based on convex analysis, which arise from the use of implicit integration
schemes, seem to have certain advantages over the conventional methods based on the tangent
stiffness. In particular, the backward Euler method seems appealing, both theoretically and
numerically. Although the present paper is confined to associated flow rules it is possible to
extend to non-associated flow within the same framework.
The explicit formulae developed in this paper account for both hardening and softening
behaviour. From the numerical examples N, BFGS(H) and MBFGS(H) methods seem efficient
for hardening behaviour, while true Newton iteration should be used for softening in order to
ensure convergence. As observed by other investigators, ‘slack’ line search is sufficient. In fact,
some of our results showed that line search may even be avoided in connection with efficient
methods like N and BFGS(H).
Much more work needs to be spent in finding the optimal iteration method, especially for
softening. In this case it was found that the elastic stiffness matrix served almost as well as the
Hessian in connection with BFGS-updates, and so we may conclude that BFGS(E) may be useful
together with the Discrete Fourier series expansion technique for layered media like soil. A main
difficulty associated with softening behaviour is the presence of more than one incremental
solution (corresponding to plastic loading and elastic unloading) on the post-peak part of the
global load-displacement curve. Using load control one seems always to achieve stable
equilibrium, i.e. the unloading path is traced.
The limit load problem in perfect plasticity deserves further attention. The consistent method
shares with the conventional methods the difficulty in accurately estimating the collapse load,
at least when ‘notorious’ elements like the four-node quadrilateral are used. This is due to the
fact that the Hessian and, consequently, the tangent stiffness matrices may become singular only
if certain requirements are met with: either the problem has to be sufficiently ‘unconstrained’,
i.e. the ratio of free nodal variables and the number of integration points used to evaluate the
matrix is sufficiently large, or the stress distribution has to be simple.
For solution advancement control the direct arc-length method seems to be superior to the
indirect one, although load control may be the best alternative.

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