Analysis of transient and steady state stress-strain hysteresis behavior of several structural metals reveals a new parameter, defined as the “Yield Range Increment”, which uniquely denotes the various transient phenomena including cyclic hardening, softening, relaxation, and creep and the steady state cyclic stress-strain behavior. All transient and steady state hysteresis branches of a given material appear to be identical in shape, after their Yield Range Increments, which are suitable portions of the initial “elastic” parts, are deleted. A mathematical model incorporating the Yield Range Increment is proposed. With the determination of the functional relationship between the newly proposed parameter and the several input variables of cyclic loading, this approach should lead to a unified approach for describing the cyclic stress-strain response of materials.

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