Couple stress based strain gradient theory for elasticity.

*(English)*Zbl 1037.74006Summary: The deformation behavior of materials in the micron scale has been experimentally shown to be size-dependent. In the absence of stretch and dilatation gradients, the size dependence can be explained using classical couple stress theory in which the full curvature tensor is used as deformation measures in addition to conventional strain measures. In the couple stress theory formulation, only conventional equilibrium relations of forces and moments of forces are used. The couple’s association with position is arbitrary. In this paper, an additional equilibrium relation is developed to govern the behavior of the couples. The relation constrained the couple stress tensor to be symmetric, and the symmetric curvature tensor became the only properly conjugated high-order strain measures in the theory to have a real contribution to the total strain energy of the system. On the basis of this modification, a linear elastic model for isotropic materials is developed. The torsion of a cylindrical bar and the pure bending of a flat plate of infinite width are analyzed to illustrate the effect of the modification.