AbstractThe plastic deformation of two different rolled magnesium sheets (AZ31 and ZE10) under quasi-static tensile and compressive loading conditions at room temperature is studied. Beside glide by dislocation motion, deformation twinning leads to evolving flow stress asymmetry and evolving plastic anisotropy in these alloys. These mechanisms cause a significant change in the shape of the yield surface. A phenomenological plasticity model in which the primary deformation mechanisms, slip and (extension) twinning, are treated separately is developed here and incorporated in the finite element framework. Deformations caused by these mechanisms are modelled by a symmetric and an asymmetric plastic potential, respectively. The hardening functions are coupled to account for the latent hardening. The necessary input for model parameter calibration is provided by mechanical tests along different orientations of the rolled sheets. Tensile tests of flat notched samples and shear tests of sheets are furthermore incorporated in the parameter optimisation strategy, which is based on minimising the difference between experimental behaviour and FE result. The model accounts for the characteristic tension-compression asymmetry and the evolution of strain anisotropy. Both, the convex-up and the concave-down shaped stress-strain response are predicted. The method is further probed on the simulation of forming operations.