I added another slice to make it a quarter model instead of a half model. This makes the solution run faster, but the biggest benefit is it adds an X=0 constraint to the model, which was lacking in the half model. The half model only had X = 0 constraint once friction was established, making convergence difficult. Now getting started is much easier. Now the challenge will be getting to large values of displacement.

Below it is apparent that the thick steel plate shown in the photograph above that is not included in the model serves a necessary purpose.

Adisa, a large amount of plasticity can be accomodated without needing to turn on Mesh nonlinear adaptivity.

The attached ANSYS 18.2 archive had all steel parts, and no plasticity. See the next post for rev1.