On the existence of elastic minimizers for initially stressed materials


On the existence of elastic minimizers for initially stressed materials
Monday 24th December 2018
Riccobelli, D.; Agosti, A.; Ciarletta, P.
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A soft solid is said to be initially stressed if it is subjected to a state of internal stress in its unloaded reference configuration. Developing a sound mathematical framework to model initially stressed solids in nonlinear elasticity is key for many applications in engineering and biology. This work investigates the links between the existence of elastic minimizers and the constitutive restrictions for initially stressed materials subjected to finite deformations. In particular, we consider a subclass of constitutive responses in which the strain energy density is taken as a scalar valued function of both the deformation gradient and the initial stress tensor. The main advantage of this approach is that the initial stress tensor belongs to the group of the divergence-free symmetric tensors satisfying the boundary condition in any given reference configuration. However, it is still unclear which physical restrictions must be imposed for the well-posedness of this elastic problem. Assuming that the constitutive response depends on the choice of the reference configuration only through the initial stress tensor, under given conditions we prove the local existence of a relaxed state given by an implicit tensor function of the initial stress distribution. This tensor function is generally not unique, and can be transformed accordingly to the symmetry group of the material at fixed initial stresses. These results allow to extend Ball's existence theorem of elastic minimizers for the proposed constitutive choice of initially stressed materials.
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Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences