Journal of the mechanics and physics of solids vol:53 issue:4 pages:795-824
While developing models for nonlinear mechanical and acoustical behavior of microcracked materials, it is common to start from a purely phenomenological approach. Most approaches essentially assume the material to have certain given "mathematical" properties, that lead to an acceptable equation of state (stress-strain relation) containing nonlinearity and hysteresis. In this paper, we formulate a deeper physical insight on the subject of mechanical hysteresis based on physical and measurable material properties. The theory developed in this paper interprets real images of crack networks in micro-inhomogeneous materials, obtained via electron microscopy, and uses this interpretation to build up a micro-potential model for a medium containing elementary cracks with known properties. It is found that the hysteretic contribution of each crack strongly depends on its average rest opening and its asperity. As a result, a distribution of cracks with different properties yields the physical basis for a slightly more complex version of the commonly used Preisach-Mayergoyz space in rock mechanics. The effect of a uniform distribution of the crack properties on the stress-strain relation is shown as an example. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.