Click the title below to display the complete page!

A new versatile expression for yield and plastic potential surfaces


In any elasto-plastic constitutive model there are three main ingredients, namely a yield surface, a plastic potential surface and a hardening/ softening rule. In this paper a versatile mathematical expression is presented which can be used to describe the yield and plastic potential surfaces. The expression is defined completely by a maximum of only four parameters. These parameters can easily be obtained from observable soil behaviour in simple triaxial tests. A major advantage of the expression is that by suitable adjustment of the parameters a wide range of surface shapes can be achieved. For example, it is possible to reproduce the so called “bullet shape” typical of the plastic potential used in the original Cam clay model and the “tear shape” yield surfaces employed in the more recent models. In fact the expression is capable of accurately reproducing the shapes of many of the yield and plastic potential surfaces currently in use. The expression is also shown to be in good agreement with experimental data.


Lagioia, R. and Puzrin, Alexander and Potts, D.M.

Index Terms:

geomechanics; plastic; GeomechanicsGroup; Lagioia, R.; Potts, D.M.; Puzrin, Alexander

Further Information:

Date published: 1996