An experimental methodology to characterise post-necking behaviour and quantify ductile damage accumulation in isotropic materials

Sancho, A. and Cox, M.J. and Cartwright, T. and Davies, C.M. and Hooper, P.A. and Dear, J.P. (2019) An experimental methodology to characterise post-necking behaviour and quantify ductile damage accumulation in isotropic materials. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 176-177. pp. 191-206. ISSN 0020-7683 (

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The development of ductile damage, that occurs beyond the point of necking in a tensile test, can be difficult to quantify. An experimental methodology has been developed to accurately characterise the post-necking deformation response of a material through continuous monitoring of the specimens shape up until rupture. By studying the evolution of the neck geometry, the correct values of the local stress and strain have been determined in samples of grade 304L stainless steel and C110 copper. Notched bar specimens of various notch acuities were examined enabling the effects of stress triaxiality on ductile fracture to be determined. The methodology developed has provided a robust framework for macroscopic measurements of ductile damage during the necking process. To characterise the material degradation process, the elastic modulus reduction method was employed on hourglass-shaped specimens of the same materials. Stiffness degradation was measured using a small gauge extensometer during uninterrupted tensile tests with partial elastic unloadings. A metallographic study was conducted on progressively damaged specimens in order to validate the macroscopic damage measurements. A new non-linear ductile damage accumulation law has been developed and calibrated, which provides an advanced representation of the experimental results, and a significant improvement compared to linear accumulation models frequently employed. This realistic modelling approach considers the degradation of the material when it has undergone severe plastic deformation, and provides a more accurate representation of the near failure behaviour by considering the effects of stress triaxiality. The methodology provides accurate data for damage model development and calibration, to improve the predictions of remnant life from ductile damage in engineering components.