A finite element approach to study cavitation instabilities in non-linear elastic solids under general loading conditions

Toshio Nakamura, Oscar Lopez-Pamies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper proposes an effective numerical method to study cavitation instabilities in non-linear elastic solids. The basic idea is to examine - by means of a 3D finite element model - the mechanical response under affine boundary conditions of a block of non-linear elastic material that contains a single infinitesimal defect at its center. The occurrence of cavitation is identified as the event when the initially small defect suddenly grows to a much larger size in response to sufficiently large applied loads. While the method is valid more generally, the emphasis here is on solids that are isotropic and defects that are vacuous and initially spherical in shape. As a first application, the proposed approach is utilized to compute the entire onset-of-cavitation surfaces (namely, the set of all critical Cauchy stress states at which cavitation ensues) for a variety of incompressible materials with different convexity properties and growth conditions. For strictly polyconvex materials, it is found that cavitation occurs only for stress states where the three principal Cauchy stresses are tensile and that the required hydrostatic stress component at cavitation increases with increasing shear components. For a class of materials that are not polyconvex, on the other hand and rather counterintuitively, the hydrostatic stress component at cavitation is found to decrease for a range of increasing shear components. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-340
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

Keywords

  • Bifurcation
  • Defects
  • Microstructure evolution
  • Voids and nucleation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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