The present study investigates how the choice of characterization test and the composition of the stress state in terms of tension and shear can produce a non-unique failure locus in terms of stress triaxiality under plane stress conditions. Stress states that are composed of tensile and simple shear loadings result in a loss of proportionality between the cumulative strain and stress such that the principal frames become non-coaxial
despite a constant stress triaxiality. Consequently, it is shown that the conventional interpretation of a failure locus in plane stress is based upon an implicit assumption of proportional coaxial loading
. The use of simple shear tests along with traditional in-plane tensile tests for fracture characterization is only one “path” that can be taken in terms of the stress triaxiality, which may produce a bifurcation at uniaxial tension while the tension–torsion path does not. In general, the failure locus in terms of the equivalent strain is a failure surface
and must consider the composition of the stress state that produces a given triaxiality. A comprehensive review of phenomenological fracture loci within a modified Mohr-Coulomb (MMC) framework is performed to highlight how the choice of stress states obtained using different characterization tests can change the apparent fracture locus of a material. The finite strain solutions for the work conjugate equivalent strain are derived for various loading paths that produce the same stress triaxiality. It is then shown that accounting for non-coaxiality leads to equivalent failure strains that are even higher than previously reported in tension–torsion tests within the literature. The equivalent plastic strains integrated from finite-element simulations are work-conjugate by definition. The equivalent strains estimated from the cumulative principal strains using DIC strain measurement depend upon a coaxial or non-coaxial assumption. Finally, an analytical solution for the onset of diffuse necking that accounts for the stabilizing influence of shear loading against a tensile instability is considered. Even under plane stress conditions, a failure surface
arises in terms of the equivalent strain at necking, the stress triaxiality, and the severity of shear loading.
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