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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 103 (2016) 516520

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International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer

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Technical Note

On the influence of microstructure on heat conduction in solids

Arkadi Berezovski
Institute of Cybernetics at Tallinn University of Technology, Akadeemia tee 21, 12618 Tallinn, Estonia

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 10 May 2016
Received in revised form 25 July 2016
Accepted 25 July 2016

Heat conduction
Single and dual internal variables
Microstructured solids

a b s t r a c t
The description of heat conduction in microstructured solids is presented in the framework of the dual
internal variable approach. One of the internal variables is identified with microtemperature, i.e. the fluctuation of macroscopic temperature due to the inhomogeneity of the body. It is shown that the
microstructure influence may result in a hyperbolic heat propagation for the microtemperature. The
macroscale heat conduction is described by a parabolic equation which is coupled with the hyperbolic
equation for the microtemperature.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

and the ClausiusDuhem inequality can be represented as

In the one-dimension setting, heat conduction in homogeneous

solids without internal heat sources is governed by the energy
conservation equation [11]

Et Q x 0;

where E is the internal energy density, Q is the heat flux, indices

denote time and space derivatives.
Considering a rigid body we suppose that the internal energy
depends only on absolute temperature h, i.e., E Eh. As every
physical process, heat conduction satisfies the second law of
thermodynamics. The second law is expressed in the form of the
ClausiusDuhem inequality [11]

St h1 Q x P 0;

where S is the entropy per unit volume.

The Helmholtz free energy density Wh E  hS connects the
internal energy and entropy and the following relation is fulfilled:



The energy conservation equation can be represented in the

canonical form [23] in terms of the entropy and the free energy

Sht Q x h ;


h W t Sht :

It follows from the latter equation that

hSt Q x 0;

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hSt hh1 Q x P 0;

or, even simpler, accounting Eq. Eq. (5),

h1 Q hx 6 0:

Since absolute temperature is non-negative by definition, the

second law will be fulfilled automatically under the choice

Q k2 hx :

This is nothing else but the Fourier law of heat conduction [27].
It should be noted that Eq. (7) contains the product of the thermodynamic flux Q and the thermodynamic force hx . However, the
Fourier law is not the unique choice for the relation between the
heat flux and the temperature gradient. Well known other possibilities can be classified as follows [37]:

Q k2 hx

Fourier 1822

Q t k2 hx aQ xx

Green and Naghdi 1991

sQ t Q k2 hx
Cattaneo 1948;Vernotte 1958
sGK Q t Q k2 hx aQ xx Guyer and Krumhansl 1966
sQ t Q k2 hx bshxt Jeffreys typeJoseph and Preciosi 1989
where s and sGK are relaxation times (specific for each model), a and
b are appropriate coefficients. These models are examined in detail
in reviews by Cimmelli [10], Joseph and Preziosi [18], Tamma and
Zhou [33] and in books by Straughan [32], Wang et al. [38]. The considered relations between the heat flux and the temperature gradient can be unified and extended as follows [37]:

sQ t Q k2 hx aQ xx bshxt cQ xxt ;


A. Berezovski / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 103 (2016) 516520

where an additional coefficient c is introduced and the relaxation

time s varies according to a model.
It should be noted that all the heat transfer models mentioned
above are elaborated for homogeneous bodies. The same is true for
the more recently developed dual-phase-lagging model [35,39]

sQ t Q k2 hx sh hxt ;
and for the thermomass model [8,39]


sTM Q t Q k2 hx sTM ht  sTM

qC v h

Q x sTM

qC v h h

The canonical energy conservation equation keeps its form


Sht Q x h ;


: W t ;


where the right-hand side of Eq. (11)1 is formally an internal heat

source [23].
The energy conservation equation is accompanied by the
second law of thermodynamics, represented in the form of the
ClausiusDuhem inequality

St h1 Q Kx P 0;

hx ;

where sh and sTM are specific relaxation times for dual-phase lagging and thermomass models, q is the density of a material, and
C v is the heat capacity at constant volume.
In spite of the controversy of recent experimental results concerning the non-Fourier heat conduction [6,7,16,30,31,34], only
heat conduction models for homogeneous materials are used for
planing and interpretation of experiments. This means that the
heat transport mechanisms in materials with nonhomogeneous
inner structures is clearly not understood to date, as pointed out
by Tamma and Zhou [33]. At the same time, it has been demonstrated how the influence of a microstructure can be taken into
account in generalized continua by means of the internal variables
[3,5,23]. Moreover, this technique reveals its descriptive capability
also in the thermoelastic case as shown recently in [1,2,4,5].
It is worst, therefore, to apply the internal variables method to
the examination of the microstructure impact in heat conduction
problems. Inner inhomogeneities in solids induce temperature
fluctuations due to the variation in material properties. Though
such fluctuations are, as a rule, small in magnitude, their gradients
may be not necessarily small.
The aim of the paper is to describe how internal variables can be
used for the accounting of the microstructural influence on heat
conduction in solids. We start with the well established single
internal variable theory to explain main features of the internal
variables formalism. Then this technique is extended by the introduction of an additional dual internal variable. The similarity and
the difference between these two approaches are demonstrated
explicitly. For the simplicity, all the considerations are presented
in the one-dimensional setting.


where, in contrast to the homogeneous case, the extra entropy flux

K is appended to the classical entropy flux [23]. Multiplying the
ClausiusDuhem inequality (12) by h

hSt hh1 Q Kx P 0;


and taking into account Eq. (11), we obtain

 W t Sht hKx  h1 Q Khx P 0:


The last equation can be represented in the form

Sht h1 Q Khx 6 h


hKx :

The internal heat source h

tutive assumption (9)

W t 


is calculated following the consti-

u Sht tut guxt :
@ u t @ ux xt

Accounting for Eq. (16), dissipation inequality (15) can be rewritten


tut guxt  h1 Q Khx hKx P 0:


To rearrange the dissipation inequality, we add and subtract the

same term gx ut

tut gu_ x  gx ut gx ut  h1 Q Khx hKx P 0;


which leads to

t  gx ut  h1 Q Khx gut hKx P 0:


It is supposed that the aggregate effect of a microstructure is

characterized be a certain additional field u [29]. Therefore this
variable and its gradient are included into the set of state variables:

As one can see, the first two terms in Eq. (19) represent products
of thermodynamical forces and fluxes, but the third one is related to
the divergence of a certain combination depending on the internal
variable and the extra entropy flux. It is clear that the elimination of
this divergence term leads to the pure thermodynamical flux-force
relation. This idea has been formulated explicitly by Maugin [21].
Utilizing this idea, we define the extra entropy flux as follows:

W Wh; u; ux :

K h1 gut :

2. Heat conduction in microstructured solids. Single internal

variable explication

Introducing internal variables we extend the thermodynamic

state space. To be able to use the thermodynamic formalism, we
accept the concept of local equilibrium state [24]. This assumes
that there always exists a local accompanying equilibrium state,
onto which the local non-equilibrium state can be projected
[19,26]. Although this mapping or projection may not be unique
and one-to-one, the concepts of thermostatics are assumed to be
applicable to the local accompanying equilibrium state, and then
to the corresponding local constrained non-equilibrium state.
Then partial derivatives of the free energy W with respect to the
state variables define the entropy, S, the u-affinity, t, and the force
conjugated to the gradient of the internal variable, g, in the standard way [20,22]

S : 


t : 


g : 

@ ux



Then the dissipation inequality reduces to

ht  gx ut  Q  gut hx P 0:


This is the basis for the derivation of the evolution equation for
the internal variable.
2.1. Evolution equation for the single internal variable
Following de Groot and Mazur [15], we represent thermodynamic fluxes ut and Q  gut as linear functions of conjugated
thermodynamic forces which delivers the solution of dissipation
inequality (21)


Q  gut

ht  gx

where M

M 11
M 21

M 12
M 22



A. Berezovski / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 103 (2016) 516520

where components Mij of the matrix M are considered as constants

for simplicity. The non-negativity of the entropy production (21)
results in the positive semidefiniteness of the symmetric part of
the matrix M, which requires

M 11 P 0;

M 22 P 0;

M12 M 21 2
M11 M 22 
P 0:


Thus, the evolution equation for the internal variable u

ut M11 ht  gx  M12 hx ;


depends on temperature and its gradient. The same is valid for the
generalized heat flux

Q  gut M21 ht  gx  M 22 hx :


Returning to energy conservation Eq. (11)


Sht Q x h ;


we represent the internal heat source h


in the form

Sht tut guxt Sht t  gx ut gut x :


It follows then that the energy conservation equation can be

rewritten as

Sht Q  gut x Sht t  gx ut h h




Accounting for Eq. (25), we can eliminate the heat flux from the
energy conservation equation which results in

hSt  M22 hxx t  gx ut  M 21 ht  gx x :


This is the most general form of the energy conservation equation in the case of linear relation between thermodynamic forces
and fluxes within the single internal variable approach.

Neglecting the explicit dependence of the free energy of the

microtemperature, i.e. W Wh; ux , we obtain simplified governing equations

ut M11 h0 C uxx  M12 hx ;


qcp ht  M22 hxx C uxx ut  M21 hx C uxx  M21 h0 C uxxx :


It may be instructive to point out that in the case of M 11 0 the

internal variable u can be interpreted as the thermal displacement
gradient in the spirit by Green and Naghdi [14].
The introduction of an internal variable for the description of
heat conduction in solids with microstructure allows us to identify
this internal variable with the microtemperature, i.e. with fluctuations of the macroscopic temperature due to the inhomogeneity of
the body. However, this description does not change the mathematical structure of heat conduction equations: they remain parabolic both for macroscopic and microscopic temperatures.
The possible extensions of the Fourier law mentioned in Introduction lead, as a rule, to a hyperbolic heat conduction equation.
We examine, therefore, a more general approach with two dual
internal variables [36].
3. Heat conduction in microstructured solids with dual internal
Now we extend the internal variable technique described in
previous Section onto the case of two internal variables. Let us suppose that the free energy density depends on the internal variables
u; w and their gradients

W Wh; u; ux ; w; wx :

The equations of state in the case of two internal variables read

2.2. Quadratic free energy

To be more specific, we will use a quadratic free energy density



h  h0 2 Bu2 C u2x ;


@W qcp
h  h0 ;


g : 

t : 



Sht Q x h ;

@ ux

n : 


f : 



: W t ;




Evolution equation for the internal variable (32) and heat conduction Eq. (34) are coupled parabolic equations. Together they
describe the transient temperature distribution in a body with
microstructure. It is natural to consider the internal variable u as
a microtemperature, i.e. the fluctuation of temperature relative to
the mean macroscopic value. While the microtemperature can be
small in magnitude, its gradient may be not necessarily small.


As previously, the internal heat source can be calculated in the

considered case as follows

For small deviations of temperature from the reference value h0 ,

we obtain then the heat conduction equation

qcp ht  M22 hxx C uxx  Buut  M21 hx C uxx  Bu

 M 21 h0 C uxx  Bux :

g : 

The canonical energy conservation equation is not changed

Correspondingly, energy conservation Eq. (29) has the form

hSt  M22 hxx C uxx  Buut  M 21 hC uxx  Bux :


St h1 Q Kx P 0;

and evolution Eq. (24) is reduced to

ut M11 hC uxx  Bu  M12 hx :

t : 

as well as the ClausiusDuhem inequality


C ux ;
@ ux




where cp is the heat capacity, h0 is the reference temperature, B and

C are material parameters. It follows from equations of state that


Sht tut guxt nwt fwxt :


The non-zero extra entropy flux is set again to eliminate the

divergence term in the ClausiusDuhem inequality

K h1 gut  h1 fnt :


The latter means that the dissipation inequality reads

ht  gx ut hn  fx wt  Q  gut  fnt hx P 0:


The solution of the dissipation inequality is again determined

by the thermodynamic flux-force relations


ht  gx

L11 L12 L13

@ wt
A L@ hn  fx A; where L @ L21 L22 L23 A:
Q  gut  fnt
L31 L32 L33


Nonnegativity of the entropy production (43) results in the positive semidefiniteness of the symmetric part of the conductivity
matrix L, which requires


A. Berezovski / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 103 (2016) 516520

L11 P 0;
L22 L33 

L22 P 0;
L32 L23 2

L33 P 0;

P 0;

L11 L22  L12 L
P 0;

det 12 L L P 0:


Components of the matrix L are considered as constants. Evolution equations for internal variables have the form

ut L11 ht  gx L12 hn  fx  L13 hx ;


wt L21 ht  gx L22 hn  fx  L23 hx ;


and the generalized heat flux has the similar structure

Q  gut  fnt L31 ht  gx L32 hn  fx  L33 hx :


The energy conservation equation keeps its canonical form

Sht Q  gut  fwt x Sht t  gx ut n  fx wt ;


Eliminating heat flux by means of Eq. (48), we arrive at the most

general heat conduction equation for microstructured solids in the
framework of the dual internal variables approach

hSt  L33 hxx L31 ht  gx L32 hn  fx x t  gx ut

n  fx wt :


As previously, we specify the free energy density to a quadratic



h  h0 2 Bu2 C u2x Dw2 Fw2x :


Calculating the quantities defined in Eq. (38)


@W qcp

h  h0 ;

g : 

t : 


C ux ;
@ ux

n : 

L12 hDw Fwxx t  L13 hxt :



What we need is to eliminate the terms with the internal

variable w. First, we use Eq. (55) expressing Dw Fwxx in terms
of u

L12 hDw Fwxx ut  L11 hBu C uxx L13 hx :


As the result, we have


utt L11 hBut C uxxt t ut

L13 ht
hx L12 hDwt Fwxxt  L13 hxt :

Substituting relation (59) into evolution Eq. (54) we obtain its

expression in terms of the internal variable u


L 21
hBu C uxx
u 23 hx ;
L12 t L12


where b
L 21 L21 L12  L11 L22 and b
L 23 L13 L22  L23 L12 are introduced
for convenience. Differentiation of the latter relation with respect
to space coordinate represents wxxt


3.1. Quadratic free energy


utt L11 ht Bu C uxx L11 hBu C uxx t L12 ht Dw Fwxx

bL 21

hxx Bu C uxx 2 LL12
hx Bu C uxx x

hBu C uxx xx LL22
uxxt LL1223 hxxx :


Collecting all the obtained relations, we have finally for the

internal variable u

utt  L11 L22  L21 L12 h2 BF CD  CFhhx uxx

L11 L22  L21 L12 BFhhxx  BDh2 u
hht  L11 hB  L22 hDut 2L11 L22  L21 L12 FBhhx uxx
hL11 C L22 Fuxxt  2L11 L22  L21 L12 FChhx uxxx
L11 L22  L21 L12 FCh2 uxxxx L13hht hx


DL13 L22  L23 L12 hhx FL13 L22  L23 L12 hhxxx  L13 hxt :
f : 
Fwx ;


we can represent system of Eqs. (46)(48) in the form

ut L11 hBu C uxx L12 hDw Fwxx  L13 hx ;


wt L21 hBu C uxx L22 hDw Fwxx  L23 hx :


Q  gut  fnt L31 hBu C uxx L32 hDw Fwxx  L33 hx :


To simplify the consideration, we suppose again that the free

energy depends only on the gradient of the internal variable ux
but not on the internal variable itself. Additionally, we assume that
the gradient of the second internal variable is negligible. This
results in the choice of the values of material parameters B 0
and F 0. Then the evolution equation for the internal variable
u is reduced to

utt  L11 L22  L21 L12 h2 CDuxx hht  L22 hDut

hL11 C uxxt L13hht hx
DL13 L22  L23 L12 hhx  L13 hxt :

Accordingly, the heat conduction equation reads


hSt  L33 hxx L31 hBu C uxx L32 hDw Fwxx x

Bu C uxx ut Dw Fwxx wt :


Up to now, the formal structure of evolution equations for internal variables and the expression for the generalized heat flux looks
very similar to the case of the single internal variable. However, the
introduction of the dual internal variable leads to non-trivial
results as we will demonstrate below.
3.2. Hyperbolicity of evolution equations for internal variables
To demonstrate the qualitative difference between the evolution of internal variables in this case and in the case of the single
internal variable, we will derive a single evolution equation for
the internal variable u. For this purpose we differentiate evolution
Eq. (55) with respect to time

Since the free energy density W is non-negative by default,

material parameters C and D are also non-negative. This means
that Eq. (64) is a hyperbolic wave equation with dissipation. The
corresponding evolution equation for the second internal variable
can be derived similarly.
3.3. Parabolicity of heat conduction equation
Returning to the heat conduction equation for the temperature
at the macroscale,

hSt  L33 hxx L31 hBu C uxx L32 hDw Fwxx x

Bu C uxx ut Dw Fwxx wt ;


we will also eliminate one internal variable. Applying the previous

results, we have for B 0 and F 0


A. Berezovski / International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 103 (2016) 516520

32 L13
hSt  L33 L12LL
hxx L31 hC uxx x  LL32
ut  L11 hC uxx x

C uxx ut
ut  L11 hC uxx L13 hx

L21 L12 L11 L22
23 L12
hC uxx LL22
ut L13 L22LL
hx :


It follows that the heat conduction equation for the macroscopic
temperature remains parabolic. Its complicated right hand side
depends on internal variables and the temperature gradient.
4. Summary and discussion
The Fourier law for heat conduction in solids is sufficient for
many practical applications [17,28]. Attempts for its generalization
remain restricted by the case of homogeneous bodies [9,32,37].
The influence of microstructure persists negligible in this case. At
the same time, generalized continuum theories take the effects of
microstructure into account [13,25]. However, these theories are,
as a rule, non-dissipative and do not include heat conduction
[12]. It was shown recently that thermal effects can be incorporated in the framework of generalized continua theories by means
of the dual internal variables approach [1,2,4,5]. Nevertheless, this
approach was never applied to the pure heat conduction.
As it is demonstrated in the paper, the dual internal variable
approach is able to predict a hyperbolic character of heat conduction at the microscale. One of the internal variables is identified
with microtemperature, i.e. the fluctuation of macroscopic temperature due to the inhomogeneity of the body. The macroscopic heat
conduction equation remains parabolic, but coupled with the
hyperbolic evolution equation for the microtemperature. The effect
of microstructure may be small or even neglected for sufficiently
high temperatures and slow or lengthy processes. For a fast heating
or low temperatures this influence may not be disregarded.
The work was supported by the EU through the European
Regional Development Fund and by the Estonian Research Council
grant PUT434.
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