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Publication 24-CNA-001

A Hidden Convexity of Nonlinear Elasticity

Siddharth Singh
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Janusz Ginster
Institut für Mathematik
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
10117 Berlin, Germany

Amit Acharya
Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Center for Nonlinear Analysis
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Abstract: A technique for developing convex dual variational principles for the governing PDE of non-linear elastostatics and elastodynamics is presented. This allows the definition of notions of a variational dual solution and a dual solution corresponding to the PDEs of nonlinear elasticity, even when the latter arise as formal Euler-Lagrange equations corresponding to non-quasiconvex elastic energy functionals whose energy minimizers do not exist. This is demonstrated rigorously in the case of elastostatics for the Saint-Venant Kirchhoff material (in all dimensions), where the existence of variational dual solutions is also proven. The existence of a variational dual solution for the incompressible neo-Hookean material in 2-d is also shown. Stressed and unstressed elastostatic and elastodynamic solutions in 1 space dimension corresponding to a non-convex, double-well energy are computed using the dual methodology. In particular, we show the stability of a dual elastodynamic equilibrium solution for which there are regions of non-vanishing length with negative elastic stiffness, i.e. non-hyperbolic regions, for which the corresponding primal problem is ill-posed and demonstrates an explosive ‘Hadamard instability;’ this appears to have implications for the modeling of physically observed softening behavior in macroscopic mechanical response.

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