Journal of the mechanics and physics of solids vol:55 issue:2 pages:366-390
A universal theory describing the wide range of mechanical and acoustic phenomena in solids with internal contacts such as rocks, concrete, ceramics and composites is quite complex to develop. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the potential to deduce the macroscopic stress-strain constitutive equation for a material as a whole starting from the microscopic hysteretic force-displacement relationship of individual asperities in contact. The material considered in the proposed model contains a large number of isotropic oriented penny-shaped cracks with rough internal surfaces. The stress-strain relationship we obtained for such a material is based on physical principles and laws. Even so, it displays close resemblance to the phenomenological Preisach-Mayergoyz model adopted for mechanical hysteresis and nonlinearity. This constitutive relationship is then used to simulate an experiment with standing acoustic waves in a resonant bar, and to compare model predictions to actual observations. We show that the most important experimentally measurable nonlinear features of these materials, such as the typical classical and nonclassical shifting behavior of the resonant frequency, the dependencies of the amplitudes of the generated harmonics, the softening due to intensive straining, and the subsequent relaxation effect (slow dynamics) can be attributed and explained in terms of the mechanics and the statistics of the internal contacts. The present model bridges the gap between three scales: macroscopic (material as a whole), mesoscopic (structure of intergranular contacts and cracks) and microscopic scale (contacts of individual asperities). (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.