Scaling function, anisotropy and the size of RVE in elastic random polycrystals

Shivakumar I. Ranganathan, Martin Ostoja-Starzewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is focused on the identification of the size of the representative volume element (RVE) in linear elastic randomly structured polycrystals made up of cubic single crystals. The RVE is approached by setting up stochastic Dirichlet and Neumann boundary value problems consistent with the Hill(-Mandel) macrohomogeneity condition. Within this framework we introduce a scaling function that relates the single crystal anisotropy to the scale of observation. We derive certain exact characteristics of the scaling function and postulate others based on detailed calculations on copper, lithium, tantalum, magnesium oxide and antimony-yttrium. In deriving the above, we make use of the fact that cubic crystals and polycrystals have a uniquely determined scale-independent bulk modulus. It turns out that the scaling function is exact in the single crystal anisotropy. A methodology to develop a material selection diagram that clearly separates the microscale from the macroscale is proposed. The proposed scaling function not only bridges the length scales but also unifies the treatment of a wide spectrum of cubic crystals. Although the scope of this article is restricted to aggregates made up of cubic-shaped and cubic-symmetry single crystals, the concept of the scaling function can be generalized to other crystal shapes and classes as well as to scaling of other elastic/inelastic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2773-2791
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Anisotropic material
  • Constitutive behavior
  • Elastic material
  • Polycrystalline material
  • Scaling function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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