A soft solid is said to be initially stressed if it is subjected to a state of internal stress in its unloaded reference configuration. In physical terms, its stored elastic energy may not vanish in the absence of an elastic deformation, being also dependent on the spatial distribution of the underlying material inhomogeneities. 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 divergence-free symmetric tensors satisfying the boundary conditions 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 according to the symmetry group of the material at fixed initial stresses. These results allow one to extend Ball's existence theorem of elastic minimizers for the proposed constitutive choice of initially stressed materials. This article is part of the theme issue 'Rivlin's legacy in continuum mechanics and applied mathematics'.
|Titolo:||On the existence of elastic minimizers for initially stressed materials|
|Autori:||Riccobelli, D.; Agosti, A.; Ciarletta, P.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Numero di Articolo:||20180074|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1098/rsta.2018.0074|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|