A hierarchical approach for constitutive modelling of geologic materials

C. S. Desai, S. Somasundaram, G. Frantziskonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

288 Scopus citations


A hierarchical concept is proposed for the development of constitutive models to account for various factors that influence behaviour of (geologic) materials. It permits evolution of models of progressively higher grades from the basic model representing isotropic hardening with associative behaviour. Factors such as non‐associativeness and induced anisotropy due to friction and cyclic loading, and softening are introduced as corrections or perturbations to the basic model. The influence of these factors is captured through non‐associativeness manifested by deviation from normality of the plastic strain increments to the yield surface, F. Details of four models: isotropic hardening with associative behaviour, isotropic hardening with non‐associative behavioural anisotropic hardening and strain‐softening with a damage variable are presented. They are verified with respect to laboratory multiaxial test data under various paths of loading, unloading and reloading for typical soils, rock and concrete. The proposed concept is general, yet sufficiently simplified in terms of physical understanding, number of constants and their physical meanings, determination of the constants and implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-257
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • General Materials Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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