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In the theoretical part of this thesis, the difference of the solutions of the elastic and the elastoplastic boundary value problem is analysed, both for linear kinematic and combined linear kinematic and isotropic hardening material. We consider both models in their quasistatic, rate-independent formulation with linearised geometry. The main result of the thesis is, that the differences of the physical obervables (the stresses, strains and displacements) can be expressed as composition of some linear operators and play operators with respect to the exterior forces. Explicit homotopies between both solutions are presented. The main analytical devices are Lipschitz estimates for the stop and the play operator. We present some generalisations of the standard estimates. They allow different input functions, different initial memories and different scalar products. Thereby, the underlying time involving function spaces are the Sobolov spaces of first order with arbitrary integrability exponent between one and infinity. The main results can easily be generalised for the class of continuous functions with bounded total variation. In the practical part of this work, a method to correct the elastic stress tensor over a long time interval at some chosen points of the body is presented and analysed. In contrast to widespread uniaxial corrections (Neuber or ESED), our method takes multiaxiality phenomena like cyclic hardening/softening, ratchetting and non-masing behaviour into account using Jiang's model of elastoplasticity. It can be easily adapted to other constitutive elastoplastic material laws. The theory for our correction model is developped for linear kinematic hardening material, for which error estimated are derived. Our numerical algorithm is very fast and designed for the case that the elastic stress is piecewise linear. The results for the stresses can be significantly improved with Seeger's empirical strain constraint. For the improved model, a simple predictor-correcor algorithm for smooth input loading is established.

In the present work the modelling and numerical treatment of discontinuities in thermo-mechanical solids is investigated and applied to diverse physical problems. From this topic a structure for this work results, which considers the formulation of thermo-mechanical processes in continua in the first part and which forms the mechanical and thermodynamical framework for the description of discontinuities and interfaces, that is performed in the second part. The representation of the modelling of solid materials bases on the detailed derivation of geometrically nonlinear kinematics, that yields different strain and stress measures for the material and spatial configuration. Accordingly, this results in different formulations of the mechanical and thermodynamical balance equations. On these foundations we firstly derive by means of the concepts of the plasticity theory an elasto-plastic prototype-model, that is extended subsequently. In the centre of interest is the formulation of damage models in consideration of rate-dependent material behaviour. In the next step follows the extension of the isothermal material models to thermo-mechanically coupled problems, whereby also the special case of adiabatic processes is discussed. Within the representation of the different constitutive laws, the importance is attached to their modular structure. Moreover, a detailed discussion of the isothermal and the thermo-mechanically coupled problem with respect to their numerical treatment is performed. For this purpose the weak forms with respect to the different configurations and the corresponding linearizations are derived and discretized. The derived material models are highlighted by numerical examples and also proved with respect to plausibility. In order to take discontinuities into account appropriate kinematics are introduced and the mechanical and thermodynamical balance equations have to be modified correspondingly. The numerical description is accomplished by so-called interface-elements, which are based on an adequate discretization. In this context two application fields are distinguished. On the one side the interface elements provide a tool for the description of postcritical processes in the framework of localization problems, which include material separation and therefore they are appropriate for the description of cutting processes. Here in turn one has to make the difference between the domain-dependent and the domain-independent formulation, which mainly differ in the definition of the interfacial strain measure. On the other side material properties are attached to the interfaces whereas the spatial extension is neglectable. A typical application of this type of discontinuities can be found in the scope of the modelling of composites, for instance. In both applications the corresponding thermo-mechanical formulations are derived. Finally, the different interface formulations are highlighted by some numerical examples and they are also proved with respect to plausibility.