On the relevance of Continuum Damage Mechanics as applied to the Mullins effect in elastomers

Abstract : The present paper reports and rationalizes the use of Continuum Damage Mechanics (CDM) to describe the Mullins effect in elastomers. Thermodynamics of rubber-like hyperelastic materials with isotropic damage is considered. Since it is demonstrated that stress-softening is not strictly speaking a damage phenomenon, the limitations of the CDM approach are highlighted. Moreover, connections with two-network-based constitutive models proposed by other authors are exhibited through the choice of both the damage criterion and the measure of deformation. Experimental data are used to establish the evolution equation of the stress-softening variable, and the choice of the maximum deformation endured previously by the material as the damage criterion is revealed as questionable. Nevertheless, the present model agrees qualitatively well with experiments except to reproduce the strain-hardening phenomenon that takes place as reloading paths rejoin the primary loading path. Finally, the numerical implementation highlights the influence of loading paths on material response and thereby demonstrates the importance of considering the Mullins effect in industrial design.
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Grégory Chagnon, Erwan Verron, Laurent Gornet, Gilles Marckmann, Pierre Charrier. On the relevance of Continuum Damage Mechanics as applied to the Mullins effect in elastomers. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Elsevier, 2004, 52 (7), pp.1627-1650. ⟨10.1016/j.jmps.2003.12.006⟩. ⟨hal-01007152⟩

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