Isotropic hardening, Prager-Ziegler kinematic hardening, the Mroz model, and the mechanical sublayer model are investigated to determine which of these hardening rules are better suited for use in nonlinear small strain analysis of metal structures by the finite element or finite difference methods. The material response predicted by each hardening rule is compared with experiments from the literature for uniaxial and biaxial loading of metals. Computer storage requirements for each model are then presented along with the results of the elastic-plastic analysis of an impulsively loaded plate. Recommendations are then made of appropriate hardening rules based on material characteristics and loading conditions.

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