Cavitation instabilities have been found for a single void in a ductile metal stressed under high triaxiality conditions. Here, the possibility of unstable cavity growth is studied for a metal containing many voids. The central cavity is discretely represented, while the surrounding voids are represented by a porous ductile material model in terms of a field quantity that specifies the variation of the void volume fraction in the surrounding metal. As the central void grows, the surrounding void volume fractions increase in nonuniform fields, where the strains grow very large near the void surface, while the high stress levels are reached at some distance from the void, and the interaction of these stress and strain fields determines the porosity evolution. In some cases analysed, the porosity is present initially in the metal matrix, while in other cases voids nucleate gradually during the deformation process. It is found that interaction with the neighbouring voids reduces the critical stress for unstable cavity growth.
International Journal of Mechanical Sciences, 2007, Vol 49, Issue 2, p. 210-216