A variational approximation scheme for three-dimensional elastodynamics with polyconvex energy. (English) Zbl 0985.74024

Summary: We construct a variational approximation scheme for the equations of three-dimensional elastodynamics with polyconvex stored energy. The scheme is motivated by some geometric identities for null Lagrangians (the determinant and cofactor matrix), and by an associated embedding of the equations of elastodynamics into an enlarged system which is endowed with a convex entropy. The scheme decreases the energy, and its solvability is reduced to the solution of a constrained convex minimization problem. We prove that the approximating process admits regular weak solutions, which in the limit produce a measure-valued solution for polyconvex elastodynamics that satisfies the classical weak form of the geometric identities. This latter property is related to the weak continuity properties of minors of Jacobian matrices, here exploited in a time-dependent setting.


74H10 Analytic approximation of solutions (perturbation methods, asymptotic methods, series, etc.) of dynamical problems in solid mechanics
74B20 Nonlinear elasticity
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