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This article explores a constitutive equation that is able to correlate stress, strain and strain rate. In order to show the advantages of the constitutive equation here proposed and how its materialparameters are obtained, data extracted from the literature, for materials as diferent as polymers andmetallic alloys, are used. Finite element simulation of the impact behaviour of a beam is presented tohighlight the care one needs to exercise when using the more traditional Cowper-Symonds equation. The present constitutive equation has shown to be accurate for a wide range of strains, stresses and strain rates.