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Mechanics of Materials: Multi-Scale Plasticity Modeling and FEM

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Classical approaches in the mechanics of heterogeneous materials rely on macroscopic experimental data and phenomenological models to mimic their behavior in computation. With the advent of advanced characterization techniques, researchers can obtain more detailed information on small length scales such as X-ray diffraction, EBSD (Electron Back Scattered Diffraction) and full-field strain measurements based on DIC (Digital Image Correlation). The experimental database is now richer in that it allows resolving the heterogeneity of deformation at microstructural length scales. The microstructural information of grain orientation and morphology can be obtained using X-ray diffraction and EBSD (Electron Back Scattered Diffraction). The obtained microstructural information can now be used to generate synthetic microstructures employing a set of statistics using a recently developed free, open and modular software package, DREAM3D (Digital Representation Environment for Analyzing Microstructure in 3D), that allows users to reconstruct, quantify, mesh, handle and visualize microstructures digitally. With the help of DREAM3D, 3D reconstruction of the sectioned EBSD data and synthetic fiber composite microstructures can be obtained. This rich database of microstructures allows to better understand/predict mechanical properties of heterogeneous materials, such as plastic behavior and fracture toughness that are inherently related to the microstructural information through multi-scale simulations which employ both meso-scale theories such as crystal plasticity and macro-scale plasticity. The better understanding of the mechanical properties of heterogeneous materials, including metals, polymers and their composites, leads to the development of new microstructure-based constitutive models of material behavior. The computation with microstructure-based constitutive models will lead to improving the safety of structural design and energy saving in the manufacturing processes of materials and will help to find (or invent by the virtual synthesis of microstructure and new material processing methods) energy saving high strength light materials that are highly needed in mechanical/aerospace/nuclear applications.

Research topics in this area include

  • Multiscale computational schemes using anisotropic ductile fracture and crystal plasticity
  • Microstructure-based constitutive modeling using a recently developed free, open and modular software package, DREAM3D (Digital Representation Environment for Analyzing Microstructure in 3D) and Simmetrix (3D geometry based meshing & simulation).
  • Mechanical behaviors of polymers using the macromolecular model
  • Computational dislocation dynamics
  • Mechanics of ductile fracture using an anisotropic constitutive model
  • Crystal plasticity: material characterization based on grain orientations (textures)
  • Damage model based on crystal plasticity
  • DIC (Digital Image Correlation) skills in measuring displacements and strains experimentally.
  • Shear localization flow
  • J2 flow plasticity with temperature compensated strain rate sensitive models
  • FEM: Developed 2D(axi-sym, plain strain), 3D large strain finite element codes with material routines of crystal plasticity, J2 flow plasticity and anisotropic ductile fracture
  • ABAQUS UMAT(User Material subroutine)s for crystal plasticity, J2 flow plasticity with a temperature compensated strain rate sensitive model (MTS model: Mechanical Threshold Strength), and anisotropic ductile fracture


A synthetic grain microstructure generated using DREAM3D, that can be used for polycrystal plasticity FE simulation.


Pole figures generated using crystal plasticity FE simulations.

fem simulation

Effective plastic strain generated in the necking of a polymer tension test using a polymer constitutive model.

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