Compaction processes are one the most important par ts of powder forming technology. The main applications are focused on pieces for a utomotive, aeronautic, electric and electronic industries. The main goals of the compaction processes are to obtain a compact with the geometrical requirements, without cracks, and with a uniform distribution of density. Design of such proc esses consist, essentially, in determine the sequence and relative displacements of die and punches in order to achieve such goals. A.B. Khoei presented a gener al framework for the finite element simulation of powder forming processes based on the following aspects; a large displacement formulation, centred on a total and updated Lagrangian formulation; an adaptive finite element strategy based on error estimates and automatic remeshing techniques; a cap model based on a hard ening rule in modelling of the highly non-linear behaviour of material; and the use of an efficient contact algorithm in the context of an interface element fo rmulation. In these references, the non-linear behaviour of powder was adequately desc ribed by the cap plasticity model. However, it suffers from a serious deficiency when the stress-point reaches a yield surface. In the flow theory of plasticit y, the transition from an elastic state to an elasto-plastic state appears more or less abruptly. For powder material it is very difficult to define the locati on of yield surface, because there is no distinct transition from elastic to ela stic-plastic behaviour. Results of experimental test on some hard met al powder show that the plastic effects were begun immediately upon loading. In such mater ials the domain of the yield surface would collapse to a point, so making the di rection of plastic increment indeterminate, because all directions are normal to a point. Thus, the classical plasticity theory cannot deal with such materials and an advanced constitutive theory is necessary. In the present paper, the constitutive equations of powder materials will be discussed via an endochronic theory of plasticity. This theory provides a unifi ed point of view to describe the elastic-plastic behaviour of material since it places no requirement for a yield surface and a 'loading function' to disting uish between loading an unloading.
Endochronic theory of plasticity has been app lied to a number of metallic materials, concrete and sand, but to the knowledge of authors, no numerical scheme of the model has been applied to powder material . In the present paper, a new approach is developed based on an endochronic rate independent, density-dependent plasticity model for describing the isothermal deformation behavior of metal powder at low homologous temperature. Although the concept of yield surface has not been explicitly assumed in endochronic theory, it is shown that the cone-cap plasticity yield surface (Fig.1), which is the m ost commonly used plasticity models for describing the behavior of powder materi al can be easily derived as a special case of the proposed endochronic theory. Fig.1 Trace of cone-cap yield function on the meridian pl ane for different relative density As large deformation is observed in powder compaction process, a hypoelastic-pl astic formulation is developed in the context of finite deformation plasticity. Constitutive equations are stated in unrotated frame of reference that greatly s implifies endochronic constitutive relation in finite plasticity. Constitutive e quations of the endochronic theory and their numerical integration are establish ed and procedures for determining material parameters of the model are demonstra ted. Finally, the numerical schemes are examined for efficiency in the model ling of a tip shaped component, as shown in Fig.2. Fig.2 A shaped tip component. a) Geometry, boundary conditio n and finite element mesh; b) density distribution at final stage of compaction