A simple, energy based, theory of plastic deformation is proposed and the extent to which it can model the known characteristics of the response of real materials is briefly explored. It is shown that a yield surface arises from the theory in a natural way and, in a particular case, takes the standard von Mises form. Post yield behaviour including the Bauschinger effect can also be incorporated within the framework of the theory. After first presenting the physical motivation the theory is developed for the case of infinitesimal one dimensional strain. Next the formalism is extended to an infinitesimal tensor strain field and finally to a finite tensor strain field. © 1978.
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