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G. Chiantoni1*, N. Bonora2, A. Ruggiero3

Tenaris-Dalmine - Dept. of R&D p.zza Caduti 6 Luglio 1944, 1 24044 Dalmine (BG) Italy
University of Cassino Dept. of DiMSAT Italy
University of Cassino Dept. of DiMSAT Italy

ABSTRACT: In this contribution, the effect of the stress state (by mean of the triaxiality ratio) on the equivalent
plastic strain at fracture is experimentally investigated for different steels and high purity copper in the range of
triaxiality from 0 (pure torsion) up to 1.2. This range of stress state is particularly meaningful for the majority of the
mechanical applications. The prediction on the formability limit diagram for proportional loading paths (i.e. with
constant triaxiality) is verified in the framework of Continuum Damage Mechanics (CDM) using the LemaitreChaboches damage model. Furthermore the influence on triaxiality on the threshold plastic strain for damage initiation
and for the critical damage at rupture is experimentally studied. The results are compared with the prediction of the
aforementioned damage model. A very good agreement between experimental results and CDM prediction is achieved.
KEYWORDS: damage, triaxiality, formability limit, torsion test

The first concern of this work is about the fracture locus
of ductile materials. This is usually intended as the
diagram of stress triaxiality ratio (Tx, minus hydrostatic
pressure divided by von Mises equivalent stress) versus
equivalent von Mises plastic strain (PEEQ). The
importance of triaxiality is due to the fact that it strongly
affects the fracture behavior of ductile materials.
Therefore it is important to know how Tx influences the
obtainable fracture strain in a wide triaxiality regime
(from 0 up to 1.2. This range includes many of the
mechanical processes of industrial interest).
This question is the subject of numerous papers. Bao and
Wierzbicki [1] performed test series on aluminum alloy
sheets and found the fracture ductility is strongly
dependent on the average value of Tx. In particular they
observed that the value of PEEQ at fracture for
triaxiality between 0 and 0.4 is less then that found for
values greater than 0.4 (there is a cuspid for Tx equals
0.4). This result is in contrast with the prediction made
by Continuum Damage Mechanics (CDM) models
(Lemaitre and Chaboche [2], Bonora [3]) largely used,
even in commercial FEM code, to predict ductile failure.
The dependency of the fracture locus on the stress
triaxiality ratio has to be experimentally investigated in
order to evaluate the reliability of these damage models
* Corresponding author: postal address, phone, fax, email address

and improve the understanding of ductile fracture. This

was done by comparing the experimental results of
austenitic steels and high purity copper specimens with a
strong variation in their stress triaxiality ratio.
The second concern is about the effect of damage on the
elastic properties of ductile materials. It is well known
(Lemaitre [4]) that the damage has a direct influence on
the Youngs modulus of metals. In fact the measurement
of the degradation of the mechanical elastic response is
one of the most used methodologies to experimentally
quantify the evolution of damage during a deformation
step. Recently Voyiadjis and Kattan [5] studied the
possible influence of damage on Poissons ratio. This
item has a particular importance on the experimental
investigation of damage performed with torsion tests,
because the damage is calculated from the Youngs
modulus which depends on both the elastic tangential
modulus (G) and the Poissons coefficient.
The third concern of this paper is about the experimental
measurement of the equivalent plastic strain threshold
for the onset of damage. Recently Celentano and
Chaboche [6] proposed a mixed numerical and
experimental method based upon traction tests. But in a
traction test the damage assumes a significant relevance
after the necking has been started. We propose a
different experimental methodology based on torsion
tests performed on thin hollow specimens.

Experiments were carried out with three ductile
Ferritic high alloy steel ASTM A335 P91 grade
(9% of Chromium 1% Molybdenum), which is
used in the energy industry as a line pipe
material. The 0.2% offset yield strength is 620
MPa. The austenitic grain size varies between
20 and 50 m. The specimens were prepared
from a rolled rod with a diameter of 120 mm
microalloyed, grade X65 API 5L PSL1/PSL2.
The 0.2% offset yield strength is 550 MPa. The
austenitic mean grain size is about 15 m. The
specimens were prepared from hot rolled tube.
As received high purity 99.9% copper. The
0.2% yield strength is 107 MPa. The specimens
were prepared from rod with diameter of 18
The torsion tests were performed using the plastometer
STD810 from Baehr Company. It is equipped with a
hydraulic drive that is able to serve a maximum torque of
100 Nm. The torsion tests were done in quasi-static
condition with a strain rate of 0.001 s-1 and at 0.0005 s-1
for the hollow specimen torsions The machine has a
continuous laser measurement of gauge length diameter
to enable precise calculation of transversal deformation.
It can perform axial deformation both in tension and
compression up to 20 kN. The traction tests were done
with a standard MTS 810 servo-hydraulic universal
testing machine in strain control using an extensometer
with a gauge of 20 mm at strain rate of 0.00001 s-1. All
the experiments were carried out at room temperature.
Axisymmetric specimens were used for both torsion and
traction tests. Figure 1 shows the geometry of the hollow
torsion specimen with a thickness (in the gauge length)
of 0.5 mm. This thin wall is needed to ensure an almost
uniform penetration of the plasticized zone avoiding the
axial elastic core of the traditional cylindrical geometry.
This configuration is particularly well suited for studying
the threshold of damage, but is not able to resist up to
material rupture mainly due to the buckling instability.
To reduce this undesired phenomenon a graphite rod was
introduced in the hollow during torsion to get a better
geometrical stability. The graphite was chosen because is
a dry lubrificant.
In order to expand the range of triaxiality a round
notched geometry was studied. This configuration
permits to experimentally realize an almost proportional
loading path with a triaxiality ratio of about 1.2.

Figure 1: Torsion hollow specimen


Experiments were planned for a wide range of triaxiality.
To find the parameters critical for fracture, finite element
simulations of traction tests with smooth and round
notched specimen and of torsion test with hollow
specimen were performed in ABAQUS/Standard. The
necessary Youngs modulus and flow stress curve were
taken from the experimental torsion data torque vs. twist
angle using a methodology described in Wu e Xu [7].
The lack of geometric instability (necking) in torsion test
has enabled to use the measured true strain-true stress
curve up to high plastic strain without the need to
extrapolate or numerically manipulate the curve obtained
by the standard torsion test (up to necking).
An isotropic hardening material model and an eight node
biquadratic elements with reduced integration were used
for all simulations. Specifically traction tests were
simulated with the axisymmetric CAX8R element while
torsion tests used the axisymmetric CGAX8R element
with twist. The modelled specimens were deformed in
displacement control as in the experiments.

The three ductile materials have been selected for their
very different alloy compositions (from pure copper to
9% chromium alloy). As far as the damage is concern,
copper is considered the reference material.
As illustrated in the figure 2, the triaxiality in traction
tests (in smooth and notched specimens) can not be
considered a constant through the loading path. So the
mean value of triaxiality as calculated by the FEM
simulations at the centre of the specimen was used to
plot the formability diagram. The strain at failure too
was extracted by the FEM at the specimens centre. The
failure condition was determined by comparing the
shape of the actual broken specimen with the shape of
the corresponding simulation.

Figure 5: Formability diagram for 99.9% copper

Figure 2: Triaxiality in traction test (notched specimen)

The gauges of the torsion specimens were accurately

polished in order to reduce the initial roughness.
However, the deformation of the torsion specimens lead
to an increased surface roughness and consequently to a
localization of the deformation. Due to this phenomenon,
small cracks were initiated and lead to further localized
deformation. The measured global shear strain can be
lower then the local one, which is responsible for the
fracture. Thus the reported values of the strain at failure
for the torsion test could be an underestimation of the
true values.

Figure 3: Formability diagram for steel P91

From the formability diagram reported (fig. 35) the

aforementioned discontinuity observed by Bao and
Wierzbiki [1] in an aluminium alloy could not be
confirmed for these three materials. It is worth
mentioning that the same result has been found by
Tratting [8]. In the diagrams it has been sketched the
fitting obtained using the expected locus as predicted by
a CDM damage model proposed by Bonora [3]. A
qualitative agreement between the models predictions
and experimental results is confirmed.
The hereafter investigations were carried out on P91
In order to detect an influence of damage on Poissons
coefficient it was planned a torsion test broken up into
loading-unloading cycles alternating with compression
steps within the elastic range. Every torsion step can be
used with two purposes: the elastic response as a
measure of the damage, while the plastic deformation as
the damaging agent.
After every torsion step (i.e. after the complete
unloading) the specimen was subjected to an elastic
compression during which were recorded both the axial
and diametric strains. The Poissons ratio is then given,
in absolute value, as the ratio between the transversal
and axial strains.
The Youngs modulus was calculated using the
measured values of the tangential modulus and Poissons
ratio as: E = 2(1 + )G . Given step by step the values of
E and the damage is calculated as D = 1 E / E0 where

E0 is the first step value.

The results obtained are summed up in figure 6: while
the damage is increasing as the material accumulates
plastic strain, the Poissons ratio seems to be unaffected.
The values were spread out around the mean value of
0.28 without showing any clear trend.

Figure 4: Formability diagram for steel X65

increasing trend. The threshold (indicated in red with a

value of 0.07) has been chosen as the half value (in
strain) between the two sets.

Figure 6: Poissons ratio and damage vs. PEEQ


The aforementioned CDM models are very sensitive to
the damage threshold (plastic strain at which damage
starts). It can be measured with loading-unloading
tensile cycles. [2] The drawback of this method lies in
the geometrical instability (necking) suffered by the
material pulled up to fracture. As shown in [6] the
necking induces a fictitious increasing of the Youngs
modulus, thus causing a great experimental difficulty in
the threshold measurement.
The method proposed in this paper is based on loadingunloading cycles of torsion of a hollow specimen. FEM
simulation was carried out to get the plastic strain
accumulated in a single torsion step. A snapshot is
shown in figure 7 where the maximum equivalent plastic
strain is plotted. It is worth noting that the actual rupture
of the specimen runs exactly along the red line
calculated by the FEM as the zone of maximum plastic

Figure 8: Damage threshold by torsion test

An extensive experimental campaign using three ductile
metals with different ductility was carried out in order to
get the materials formability diagrams (equivalent
plastic strain to failure vs. triaxiality) and to validate the
prediction of a CDM model. A good agreement between
measurements and model was found. Moreover it was
verified that (within the experimental accuracy) the
Poissons ratio was not affected by the materials
damage. Finally it was proposed a new method to
measure the damage strain threshold based upon torsion
test on thin walled hollow specimen.
This paper is published under authorization of
Tenaris Dalmine R&D, directed by M.A. Rossi


Figure 7: FEM of hollow specimens torsion

In every torsion step the mean increasing of the plastic

strain was 0.016. Using the result reported in the
previous paragraph, the damage was calculated
measuring only the degradation of the tangential elastic
modulus and considering constant (0.28) the Poissons
coefficient. The diagram of damage vs. PEEQ is reported
in figure 8. The damage measurements are clearly
divided in two groups: the first one has a nearly
vanishing mean value, while the second shows an

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equivalent strain and stress triaxiality space. Int. Journal
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[3] Bonora N., A Non Linear CDM Model for Ductile
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[4] Lemaitre J., A Course on Damage Mechanics, Springer
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