Bending, stretching and forming of a metal into a new shape, is described mathematically by theories for metal plasticity. Metal plasticity is a special case of material plasticity and can be described by the general continuum plasticity models that are available. However, if you look closely into the metal in a microscope, you will see, that like a snowball consists of snow crystals, the metal is made of many small crystals, referred to as grains. Hence, a more detailed description and understanding of metal plasticity is available through studying the contribution from each crystal, i.e., by theories for crystal plasticity. Unfortunately, large scale simulations of the metal behavior as described by the crystal plasticity models, is currently not possible, due to lack of sufficiently powerful computers. Still, our understanding of crystal plasticity and our experimental knowledge from mechanical testing suggest that an improved description of metal plasticity by continuum plasticity theories can be achieved by adequate modifications of these models. The goal of the METPLAST project is to develop the next generation continuum plasticity theory for metals.
Important basic ingredients of the continuum plasticity theory are ripe for revision. Basic mechanisms that today only can be predicted by the more detailed but computationally demanding crystal-plasticity models, will be incorporated into the continuum plasticity theory. The next generation continuum plasticity theory for metals will be developed, by developing and implementing new models required to reproduce virtual experiments by crystal-plasticity models. This will significantly improve the predictions of plastic buckling, anelasticity, flow instabilities during forming of plates and transient responses to strain-path changes.