Yield and fracture criteria for real materials are to a varying degree affected by a state of hydrostatic stress. Some materials, after certain deformation history, exhibit different yield point when the direction of the stress is reversed, a behavior known as the Bauschinger effect. These physical phenomena are not represented by the von Mises criterion. Based on a convexity theorem of matrices, a generalization of the von Mises criterion is presented. The new criterion satisfies the convexity requirement of plasticity theory and, with two scalar functions of deformation history α and β, produces a class of hardening behavior. The current values of α and β account for the effect of hydrostatic stress and an aspect of the Bauschinger effect on yield and fracture. The generalized criterion reduces to the form of the von Mises criterion as a special case.

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