An affine formulation for the prediction of the effective properties of nonlinear composites and polycrystals. (English) Zbl 0984.74068

Summary: Variational approaches for nonlinear elasticity show that Hill’s incremental formulation for the prediction of the overall behaviour of heterogeneous materials yields estimates which are too stiff and may even violate rigorous bounds. This paper aims at proposing an alternative ‘affine’ formulation, based on a linear thermoelastic comparison medium, which could yield softer estimates. It is first described for nonlinear elasticity and specified by making use of Hashin-Shtrikman estimates for the linear comparison composite; the associated affine self-consistent predictions are satisfactorily compared with incremental and tangent ones for power-law creeping polycrystals. Comparison is then made with the second-order procedure, and some limitations of the affine method are pointed out; explicit comparisons between different procedures are performed for isotropic, two-phase materials. Finally, the affine formulation is extended to history-dependent behaviours; application to the self-consistent modelling of the elastoplastic behaviour of polycrystals shows that it offers an improved alternative to Hill’s incremental formulation.


74Q15 Effective constitutive equations in solid mechanics
74E30 Composite and mixture properties
74A40 Random materials and composite materials
74Q20 Bounds on effective properties in solid mechanics
74E15 Crystalline structure
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