It is shown that initial and boundary-value problems involving high-speed elastic-plastic deformation with spherical symmetry can be solved using a finite-difference numerical technique. Numerical solutions for the dynamic expansion of a spherical cavity under a constant pressure are presented to demonstrate the nature and capability of the numerical scheme. While the solution for an elastic material agrees closely with the exact one, the solution for an elastic, perfectly plastic material also receives support from Green’s analytic predictions concerning the motion of the elastic-plastic boundary. At large times, the asymptotic solution of the dynamic elastic-plastic problem is different from the quasi-static solution. This result indicates that the concept of quasi-static approximation may not hold in dynamic plasticity. A nonlinear dependence of the plastic solution on the boundary condition is also observed.

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