This study investigates and compares several available plasticity models used to describe the thermomechanical behavior of structural steel subjected to complex loadings. The main purpose of this comparison is to select a proper constitutive model that can later be implemented into a finite element code to capture localizations (e.g., shear bands and necking) in steel and steel structures subjected to low- and high-velocity impact. Four well-known constitutive models for viscoplastic deformation of metals, i.e., Johnson–Cook (JC), Zerilli–Armstrong (ZA), Rusinek–Klepaczko (RK), and Voyiadjis–Abed (VA), have been investigated and compared with reference to existing deformation data of HSLA-65 and DH-36 steel conducted at low and high strain rates and various initial temperatures. The JC, ZA, and RK models reasonably describe the flow stress and the strain hardening behavior only in the certain ranges of strain, strain rate, and temperature for which the models were developed. This was attributed to the inaccurate assumptions used in developing these models. In contrast, the VA model most effectively describes the flow stress and strain hardening in which very good predictions are observed for the constitutive behavior of high strength steel over a wide range of strains, strain rates, and temperatures.

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