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Mechanics of Cosserat media An introduction

Samuel Forest1 Ecole des Mines de Paris / CNRS Centre des Matriaux / UMR 7633 e BP 87, 91003 Evry, France


The idea of a material body endowed with both translational and rotational degrees of freedom stems from the seminal work of the Cosserat brothers (Cosserat and Cosserat, 1909). A triad of orthonormal directors (d i )i=1,3 is associated to the microstructure of each material point. The material transformation describes the displacement u of the material point and the rotation R with respect to the initial position X and orientations d i0 : u =x X, d i = R(X ).d i0 (1)

A Timoshenko beam (resp. Mindlin shell) is an example of onedimensional (resp. two dimensional) Cosserat continuum, for which the directors are attached to the beam crosssection. The theory presented in this course deals with the full 3D case for which the volume element of mechanics actually has a nite extension and a microstructure. The intuitive view of the Cosserat volume element is given in gure 1. In contrast to the classical innitesimal volume element of continuum mechanics which can be subjected only to volume and surface forces, there is enough room on each edge to apply a gradient of forces, i.e. a surface couple... The rigorous derivation of balance equations for such a continuum is given in section 2. The Cosserat continuum belongs to the larger class of generalized continua which introduce intrinsic length scales into continuum mechanics via higher order gradients, additional degrees of freedom of fully non local constitutive equations (Eringen, 1999; Eringen, 2002; Forest, 2005).
m zy

yy yx
m zx y

xy + xx




Figure 1: The material point of a Cosserat continuum


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The method of virtual power

The method of virtual power, based on dAlemberts principle of virtual work, provides a systematic and straightforward way of deriving balance equations and boundary conditions in various mechanical situations (Germain, 1973a; Germain, 1973b; Maugin, 1980). Forces and stresses are not introduced directly but by the value of the virtual power they produce for a given class of virtual motions. If one extends the class of considered virtual motions, one renes the description of forces and stresses. 2.1 The virtual motions of a Cosserat continuum

For a given current conguration of a simply connected body, a virtual motion is a vector eld on , called the eld of virtual (generalized) velocities. Let V be the topological vector space of all virtual velocities. The set V is not empty since it always contains the subspace of rigid body motions. Indeed, virtual velocities like real velocities are dened with respect to a given frame or observer. The velocity elds of the same virtual motion followed by two dierent observers dier only by a rigid body velocity eld. In a Cosserat medium, a material point can translate with the velocity u . On the other hand, a triad of rigid directors is assumed to be attached to each material point and can rotate with the microrotation rate W c represented by a skewsymmetric second rank tensor. An axial (pseudo-) vector is uniquely associated with the skewsymmetric second rank tensor W c by the relations x , W c .x = x = : ( x ) (2)

where and respectively denote the vector product and the third rank LeviCivita permutation tensor. The following relations hold between a skewsymmetric tensor and its axial vector2 : 1 = : W c, 2 W c = . (3)

As a result, the set of virtual velocities of the Cosserat continuum is V := {u , } (4)

The eld of virtual microrotation rate is generally not a compatible eld, meaning that it is generally not the gradient of a micromotion eld3 . The actual and virtual microrotation rate elds are assumed to be a priori independent of the velocity eld u . In particular the microrotation is not bound to follow the material rotation rate associated with the rotation part of the velocity gradient. Such an internal constraint can be enforced but then the Cosserat theory degenerates into the socalled couplestress theory or Koiter theory (Koiter, 1963; Fleck and Hutchinson, 1997). The (generalized) virtual velocities will be assumed to be at least continuous and piecewise dierentiable elds on . In fact, the virtual elds play the role of the test functions in distribution theory (Schwartz, 1984). It would be therefore sucient to consider virtual velocities that are dierentiable at any order, with a compact support. However, we will not adopt the language of distributions in the following even though it would be the most appropriate one. Accordingly, the

The components of the skewsymmetric tensors and axial vectors can be sorted out in the following matrix form: c c 0 3 2 0 W12 W31 c c c 3 1 0 W23 = [W ] = W12 0 c c W31 W23 0 2 1 0

3 It is known from classical continuum mechanics that a rotation eld on a body is compatible i it is homogeneous (Forest and Amestoy, 2004).

actual velocity and microrotation elds, i.e. the real motion of the body under the considered system of forces, are generally examples of virtual velocities but not always. Indeed, actual elds are only required to be dierentiable almost everywhere. This allows for instance for the existence of shock waves. Such discontinuities can be investigated using regular test functions. However, for the sake of brevity, the jump conditions that can be derived for such an analysis are not reported in the present analysis (cf. (Nowacki, 1986)). Within the context of a rst gradient theory, only the rst gradient4 of the vector elds of virtual and actual velocity and microrotation is considered and put into the set V := { u , }

The case of second gradient theory can be found in (Germain, 1973a; Forest et al., 2000b) and references quoted therein. 2.2 The principle of virtual power

The system of forces one wants to consider is dened by a linear continuous application P: V IR

P( ) The real number P( ) is the virtual power produced by the system of forces in the virtual motion . The principle of virtual power, or dAlemberts statement, stipulates that: The virtual power of the system of all forces acting on a body with respect to a Galilean frame, vanishes for any considered virtual motion. The statement holds also in the dynamical case provided that inertial forces are added to the set of forces. The various forces acting on a mechanical system are usually classied into two classes: external forces represent the dynamical eects on due to the interaction with other systems that share no common part with , the internal forces represent the mutual dynamical eects of subsystems of . It is crucial to notice that the denition of the virtual power of internal forces is subject to a limitation expressed as the following axiom. The axiom of virtual power of internal forces stipulates that5 : The virtual power of internal forces acting on any subdomain D for a given virtual motion is invariant with respect to any change of observer. The considered changes of observer are described by Euclidean transformations, i.e. any time dependent homogeneous translations and rotations: x = Q(t).x + b (t) (5)

where Q is a proper orthogonal tensor, i.e. a rotation. In other words, the virtual power of internal forces takes the same value whatever the frame of observation is. It is equivalent to the following statement: The power of internal forces vanishes for all rigid body motions. The reason is that the equation (5) formally can be associated with a rigid body motion.
In a Cartesian orthonormal coordinate system, the gradient of a vector eld is the second rank tensor u with the components ui,j where the comma denotes partial derivation with respect to the spatial coordinate xj . 5 This axiom represents in fact no real restriction on the development of continuum theory. It is in fact concomitant of the chosen representation of forces. It is universally accepted in contrast to the principle of form invariance used in material theory (see section 3). The reason is that violating the principle of Euclidean Frame Invariance probably amounts to questioning Newtonian equations of motions themselves...

The axiom of power of internal forces is the counterpart of the principle of Euclidean Frame Indierence or, simply, principle of objectivity (Liu, 2002; Bertram, 2005). External forces are not subjected to a similar limitation: the power of inertial forces for instance are obviously not invariant with respect to changes of observer. 2.3 The virtual power of internal forces of the Cosserat continuum

The method of virtual power applied to a specic continuum theory always starts with the expression of the virtual power of internal forces for three reasons. Firstly, the representation of internal forces in the fundamentally new concept brought by the continuum theory compared to existing frameworks. Secondly, this expression is limited by the axiom of power of internal forces introduced in the previous section. Lastly, the analysis of the power of internal forces will dictate the possible forms that the power of external forces can take. The virtual power P (i) of internal forces is assumed to admit6 a power density p(i) : P (i) ( V) =

p(i) ( ) dv


The power density p(i) is assumed to be a linear form on V and V . The principle of objectivity excludes in fact the direct dependence of p(i) on u and limits its dependence on the rotation and microrotation rates: p(i) ( ) = : ( u W c ) + m : (7) In this expression, , m, u W c and are objective quantities meaning that they transform like objective tensors under change of observer (Liu, 2002). This ensures the invariance of p(i) with respect to Euclidean transformations. The dierence ( u W c ) represent the relative deformation rate with respect to a frame attached to the microstructure. The gradient is the tensor of curvature rate. The dual quantities, dening the linear form of power of internal forces, are called the force stress tensor and the couple stress tensor m. They are generally not symmetric. The stress tensors are assumed to be (almost everywhere) continuously dierentiable. The application of the divergence theorem to the relation (6) and taking (7) into account, leads to the following expression: P (i) ( ) =

( . ).u + (m. ). + : W c dv

(u . + .m).n da


where D is the boundary of the subdomain D. The eld n denotes the unit normal vector at any point of the boundary of the domain D. The notations . stands for the divergence of the force stress tensor7 . This expression dictates the form of 2.4 The virtual power of external forces

It can be split into a virtual power density of volumic forces representing long range external actions: (9) P (d) ( ) = (f .u + c . ) dv

It is assumed that the power density of internal forces is dened at every point x independently of the subdomain D . This means that the considered internal forces are short range forces. Long range forces are bound to a non local theory and are excluded from the Cosserat model. The Cosserat theory can be used to model size eects but it remains a local theory in the sense of (Truesdell and Noll, 1965). 7 In a Cartesian orthonormal coordinate system, . denotes the vectors of components ij,j .

and a virtual power density of contact forces: P (c) ( ) =


(t .u + M . ) da


These virtual powers are linear forms on the space V of the virtual motions and of their rst gradient V . In fact, the terms linear in u and were not introduced in (9) and (10) because they have no counterparts in the power of internal forces (8), thus anticipating on the consequences of the principle of virtual power. The traction vector t represents a surface density of forces. The couple stress vector M represents a surface density of couples. A possible meaning for this couple stress vector is given in gure 1. The power of inertial forces is dened as the opposite of the derivative of the kinetic energy. It takes the form: P (a) ( ) := K = (a .u + I . ) dv (11)

The vector elds a and denote the actual acceleration and microgyration elds, computed as the time derivatives of the actual velocity and microrotation elds. The mass density eld is called . An isotropic microrotational inertia I is introduced. A more detailed derivation of Cosserat inertia terms can be found in (Germain, 1973b; Eringen, 1999). 2.5 Balance of momentum and balance of moment of momentum: eld equations

According to the principle of virtual power, the total virtual power of all forces vanishes on any subdomain D and any virtual motion = (u , ): D , V, P (i) ( ) + P (d) ( ) + P (c) ( ) + P (a) ( ) = 0 (12)

The substitution of (8), (9), (10) and (11) into (12) leads to the following variational equation: .

+ f a .u dv +


+ c : I . dv (13)

( .n t ) .u da

(m.n M ) . da = 0

First assume that the virtual elds u and are chosen in such a way that they vanish outside a compact subset interior to D. In the previous sum, only the volume integral remains. It must be zero for this large class of virtual motions. As a result, the integrand must vanish at any point of the interior of D where it is continuous. In the process, the velocity and microrotation rate can be varied independently. This leads therefore to two eld equations known as the balance of momentum and balance of moment of momentum equations: . m. + f = , u x x

(14) (15)

: + c = I ,

where the expressions of acceleration and microgyration have been substituted for the actual elds. After taking the previous eld equations into account, the equation (13) reduces to the surface integral terms which must vanish for all virtual motions. Accordingly, the traction vector and couple stress vectors are8 linear functions of the unit normal vector n : t = .n , M = m.n , x D (16)

These relations hold in particular at the boundary of the considered body where t and M may be prescribed.
at least at points where the traction vector and the couple stress vector are continuous, which may not be the case at the front of shock waves for instance.


Energy balance

According to the rst principle of thermodynamics, the material time derivative of the total energy in a subdomain D is the sum of the power of external forces acting on it and of the rate Q of heat supply into it. The total energy is the sum of the kinetic energy K and of internal energy E having specic internal energy e, the energy principle can be written: E + K = P (d) + P (c) + Q (17)

The principle of virtual power (12) applied to the real motion9 is nothing but the kinetic energy theorem: K = P (i) + P (d) + P (c) (18) By substitution into (17), one obtains another expression of the rst principle: E = P (i) + Q (19)

The rate of heat supply is assumed to take the general form involving the rate of volumic heat r and the heat ux vector q : Q=

r dv

q .n da =


.q ) dv


The heat ux vector is assumed to be objective. It results from that and from the axiom of virtual power of internal forces, that the rate of internal energy is invariant with respect to Euclidean transformations. The local form of the rst principle is obtained by applying the global form (17) to any subdomain V . It reads = : ( u W c) + m : 2.7 +r .q (21)

Strain measures and eld equations in the context of small perturbations

In the context of small perturbations, strain measures are deduced from the relative deformation rate and curvature rate by time integration: e= u + . , = (22)

These strain measures are called the relative deformation e and the curvature tensor . The gradient operators can be applied with respect to the initial conguration. One can replace also the Eulerian nabla operator by the Lagrangian one in the eld equations (14) and (15). Since microrotations are small, the Cosserat rotation R takes the simple form R = 1 . (23)

For a complete description of the strain measures at nite deformation, the reader is referred to (Kafadar and Eringen, 1971; Forest and Sievert, 2003).

Cosserat material theory

The 6 eld equations (14) and (15) are not sucient to determine a total of 24 unknown elds, namely the six translational and micrororational degrees of freedom and the 18 components of the stress tensors. It is the purpose of material theory to link stresses and deformations via constitutive

in the absence of shock waves.

equations. The constitutive theory is restricted here to the context of small perturbations for the sake of simplicity. Material non linearity is envisaged within the context of continuum thermodynamics with internal variables thus generalizing the concepts introduced for the classical continuum in (Germain et al., 1983; Lemaitre and Chaboche, 1994; Besson et al., 2001). Nonlinear evolution rules are usually proposed for the internal variables. Questions of existence and uniqueness for such systems are tackled in (Alber, 1998). 3.1 Entropy principle

The specic internal energy , entropy and Helmholtz free energy = T are introduced as functions of state and internal variables. The global form of the second principle reads : S Qs where S is the global entropy of the system and Qs is the total ux of entropy. S =


Qs =

J .n ds and J =

q T


where J is the entropy ux vector. No extraentropy ux is assumed in the present theory, although this can be considered for internal variables inuencing the heat conduction as in (Maugin, 1990). The following local form of the entropy inequality is adopted: + J . 0 (25)

Combining (21) and (25) leads to the ClausiusDuhem inequality is obtained: ( + T ) + p(i) 1 q. T 0 T (26)

This inequality is used to derive the state laws and the remaining intrinsic dissipation D. 3.2 State laws

The strain measures are decomposed into elastic and plastic parts: e = ee + ep , = e + p (27)

The free energy is a function of the elastic contributions and, possibly, of internal variables q. Taking the expression (7) of the work of internal forces, the ClausiusDuhem inequality (26) becomes: ( 1 ) : ee + (m e ) : e ( + )T + : ep + m : p q q . T 0 (28) e e T q T

For any given values of {ee , e , T, ee , e , T }, there is a thermodynamic process having these values at point (x , t). Suitable external volume forces and couples or external heat supply may be required for this to hold (Liu, 2002). In other words, for given {ee , e , T }, the inequality (28) must hold for arbitrary values of ee , e and T , in which the inequality is linear (Coleman and Noll, 1963; Coleman and Gurtin, 1967). Consequently, their coecients must vanish: = , ee m= , e = , T R := q (29)

These relations are the state laws. The thermodynamic force associated with the internal variable q was called R.


Residual dissipation and dissipation potential

In the isothermal case, the residual dissipation after enforcing the previous state laws reduces to the intrinsic dissipation: (30) D := : ep + m : p + Rq An ecient way of ensuring the positivity of the dissipation for any thermodynamic processes is to assume the existence of a dissipation potential ( , m, R) which is a convex function of its arguments: ep = p = q= (31) m R These equations are the plastic ow rules and the evolution equation for the internal variable. Materials possessing such a potential are called standard generalized materials by (Halphen and Nguyen, 1975) who extended the pioneering work of J.J. Moreau to elastoviscoplasticity. The LegendreFenchel transform of the convex potential can be used to dene the dual potential (ep , p , q): (ep , p , q) = sup ( : ep + m : p ( , m, R)) ,m,R This dual potential is such that = ep m= p R= q (33) (32)


Single vs. multicriterion Cosserat plasticity

Two main classes of potentials have been used in the past. In the rst class, the potential is a coupled function of force and couplestresses, whereas in the second class the potential is a sum of two independent functions of force stress and couple stress respectively : tot = ( , R) + c (m, Rc ) (34)

in the spirit of (Koiter, 1960) and (Mandel, 1965). Both situations can be illustrated for the rateindependent material behaviour. The rst class of models involves a single yield function f ( , m, R) and a single plastic multiplier p : ep = p f , p = p f , m q=p f R (35)

The second class of models requires two yield functions f ( , R, Rc ) and fc (m, R, Rc ) and two plastic multipliers : ep = p f , p = fc , m q=p f , R qc = fc Rc (36)

In the latter case, coupling between deformation and curvature comes from the balance equations and possibly coupled hardening laws. This type of coupling between several hardening variables has been investigated within the framework of multimechanism based plasticity theory in (Cailletaud and Sai, 1995) for the classical continuum. The treatment of the Cosserat continuum is very similar. The rst trials for an extension of classical von Mises elastoplasticity to the Cosserat continuum are due to (Sawczuk, 1967), (Lippmann, 1969), (Besdo, 1974), (Mhlhaus and Vardoulakis, 1987) u

and (Borst, 1991; Borst, 1993). They belong to the class of single criterion plasticity models. The following form of the extended von Mises criterion encompasses these previous models : f ( , m, R) = J2 ( , m) R(p) J2 ( , m) = a1 : + a2 : T + b 1 m : m + b 2 m : m T (37)


where is the deviatoric part of , ai , bi are material parameters. The ow rules and plastic multiplier then read : a1 + a2 T e =p , J2 ( , m)

b1 m + b2 mT =p J2 ( , m)



a2 1

a1 a2 b1 b2 ep : ep + 2 ep : epT + 2 p : p + 2 p : pT 2 2 2 2 a2 a2 a1 b1 b2 b2 b1


The use of the consistency condition f = 0 under plastic loading yields the following expression of the plastic multiplier : N : E : e + Nc : C : p= (41) H + N : E : N + Nc : C : Nc

This expression involves the normal tensors N and N c to the yield surface, the hardening modulus H and the tensors of elastic moduli E and C for linear elasticity (for a material admitting at least point symmetry) : N= f , Nc = f , m H= R , p E=

2 , ee ee


2 e e


The condition of plastic loading for the material point is that the numerator of equation (41) is positive, provided that the denominator remains positive, which still allows softening behaviours (H < 0). This is however not the only possible extension of von Mises plasticity since a multicriterion framework can also be adopted : f ( , R) = J2 ( ) R(p, ) J2 ( ) = a1 : + a2 : T , fc (m, Rc ) = J2 (m) Rc (p, ) J2 (m) = b1 m : m + b2 m : mT (43)


There are then two distinct plastic multipliers p= a1 a2 ep : ep + 2 ep : epT , 2 a2 a2 a2 1 = b1 b2 p : p + 2 p : pT 2 b2 b2 b2 1 (45)

a2 1

b2 1

The exploitation of two consistency conditions f = 0 and fc = 0 under plastic loading leads to a system of two equations for the unknowns p, : (H + N : E : N )p + H pc = N : E : e,

H pc p + (H c + N c : C : N c ) = N c : C :


where a coupling hardening modulus appears : H pc = R/ = Rc /p. Whether both plastic mechanisms are active or not, is determined by the sign of the solutions (p, ) of the previous

plastic h 2 elastic 1

Figure 2: Simple glide test for a Cosserat innite layer : elastic and elastoplastic domains, boundary conditions.

Figure 3: Simple bending test for a Cosserat material : elastic and elastoplastic domains, boundary conditions.

system. If the determinant of the system vanishes, the value of the plastic multipliers can remain indeterminate (Mandel, 1965). The choice of one viscoplastic potential for deformation or curvature can be used as a regularization procedure to settle the indeterminacy : p= R or = c Rc (47)

Such mixed plasticviscoplastic potentials are already recommended in the classical case (Mandel, 1971; Cailletaud and Sai, 1995). An example of multimechanism elastoviscoplastic Cosserat material is the case of Cosserat crystal plasticity described in (Forest et al., 1997; Forest et al., 2000a). Single and multicriterion plasticity including generalized kinematic hardening variables can be found in (Forest, 1999). Nonassociative ow rules are necessary in the case of geomaterials for which the yield function appearing in equations (35) and (36) must be replaced by a dierent function of the same arguments. Some extensions of classical compressible plasticity models are reported in (Chambon et al., 2001).







Application to simple glide and bending

It is important to see the respective role of Cosserat characteristic lengths appearing in the elastic and plastic constitutive equations in some simple situations. The dierence between the use of single or multimechanism Cosserat elastoplasticity can also be shown. Analytical solutions for an isotropic elastic-ideally plastic Cosserat material involving one or two yield functions can be worked out in the case of the Cosserat glide and bending tests. The considered boundary value problems are depicted on gures 2 and 3 respectively. The detailed solutions are provided in appendices A and B. Two characteristic lengths can be dened : le = , lp = a b (48)

in the simple case a1 = a, a2 = 0, b1 = b, b2 = 0 (see also equation (A50) for the denition of isotropic Cosserat elastic bending modulus ). In the glide and bend tests, the material can be divided into elastic and plastic zones (gures 2 and 3). Characteristic length le explicitly appears in the solution in the elastic zone, whereas the solution in the plastic zone is driven by length lp . Classical solutions are retrieved for vanishing le and lp . The use of a single coupled yield criterion (38) leads to nonhomogeneous distribution of force and couple stress in the plastic zone for both glide and bending, as can be seen from gures 4 and 5. In contrast, if no hardening is introduced, the use of two uncoupled criteria (44) gives rise to constant values of the force and couplestress components in the plastic zone of the bent beam.


Figure 4: Simple glide test for a single criterion von Mises elastoplastic Cosserat innite layer : force stress and couple stress proles along a vertical line. A microrotation = 0.001 is prescribed at the top h = 5lu . The material parameters are : E = 200000 MPa, = 0.3, c =100000 MPa, =76923 2 2 , R0 =100MPa, a1 = 1.5, a2 = 0, b1 = 1.5lu , b2 = 0. The microcouple prescribed at the top is 0 = . lu is a length unit. 32


 ' )(&%

      $#"!   4 5

5 "6 5 "7 5 1 5 83 5 83 9 5 19 5 "7 9 5


Figure 5: Simple bending test of an elastoplastic Cosserat material : inuence of the characteristic length lp on the proles of stress components 11 and m31 , obtained for a fully plastic beam. The parameters are the same as in gure 4 except that b = 15 when lc = 0.26lu . The beam thickness is h = 5lu .




 "  #!




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2 3  4   4  3 1 1 1 1 9 @ A B C D  E 1 1 20 ) 4 53 %& $ % %$ 6 '( &' ) ( 0

Appendices A Simple glide in Cosserat elastoplasticity

A twodimensional layer of Cosserat material with innite extension in direction 1 and height h is considered on gure 2. The unknowns of the problem are u = [u(x2 ), 0, 0]T and = [0, 0, (x2 )]T . Various types of boundary conditions are possible. For example, we consider : u(0) = 0, (0) = 0, t = 12 e 1 = 0, m = m32 e 3 = m0 e 3 32 (A49)

Note that the solution of this problem for the classical Cauchy continuum would be a vanishing u. The material exhibits an elastoplastic behaviour with a generalized von Mises yield function (38) or (44). Let us recall the elasticity relations in the isotropic case : = (trace ee ) 1 + 2{ ee} + 2} ee{ , c m = (trace e ) 1 + 2 { e} + 2 } e{ (A50)

where , are the Lam constants and c , , , are additional moduli. The brackets {} (resp. }{) e denote the symmetric (resp. skewsymmetric) part of the tensor. One usually takes = at least in the twodimensional case (Borst, 1991). An elastic Cosserat characteristic length le = / can be dened. Under the prescribed boundary conditions, a plastic zone develops starting from the top. Elastic zone, 0 x2 The evaluation of elasticity law and balance equations leads to the following equations : 12 = ( + c )u,2 + 2c , 12,2 = 0, 21 = ( c )u,2 2c , m32,2 + 21 12 = 0 m32 = 2,2 (A51) (A52)

from which two dierential equations are deduced :

2 ,22 = e ,

u,2 =

2c , + c

e =

2c ( + c )


Taking the boundary conditions at the bottom into account, the solutions follow, including an integration constant B to be determined : (x2 ) = B sinh(e x2 ), u(x) = 2c B (1 cosh(e x2 )) e ( + c ) 4c B sinh(e x2 ) + c (A54)

m32 = 2Be cosh(e x2 ), Plastic zone, x2 h

21 =


In the generalized von Mises criteria (38) or (44), the simplifying assumption a1 = a, a2 = 0, b1 = b, b2 = 0 is adopted, together with a constant threshold R = R0 . The yield criterion (38) requires : 2 2 a21 + bm2 = R0 (A56) 32


Combining this condition with balance equations (A52), the solution takes the following form including integration constants C and D : m32 = C cos(p x2 ) + D sin(p x2 ), 21 = p (C sin(p x2 ) D cos(p x2 )) 1 = lp b a (A57)

p =


where a charateristic length lp comes into play. The constants C and D are solutions of the following system of equations : C 2 + D2 =
2 R0 , b

C cos(p h) + D sin(p h) = m0 32


The continuity of surface couple vector and yield condition at x2 = provides the system of equations for the unknowns B and : 2e B cosh(e ) = C cos(p ) + D sin(p ) c + c
2 2 2 B 2 sinh2 (e ) + 4b 2 e B 2 cosh2 (e ) = R0




The numerical resolution of both systems of equations leads to a semianalytical solution of the simple glide test, that can be used as test for the implementation of Cosserat elastoplasticity in a Finite Element code. This has been checked for the simulation presented on gure 4. In contrast, the use of two separate criteria (44) without hardening and assuming plastic loading for both deformation and curvature, leads to a plastic zone with no extension with constant force and couple stress 21 and m32 at the upper boundary.

Simple bending in Cosserat elastoplasticity

Simple bending is a wellsuited test to investigate the eect of curvature on the overall response of the material. The bending of metal sheets has been studied experimentally in the elastic regime (Schivje, 1966) and in the plastic regime (Stlken and Evans, 1998) : size eect have been observed o only in the latter case. The solution of the simple bending problem is given here for the elastic and elastoplastic cases. Elastic solution The beam of thickness h and width W of gure 3 is considered for simple bending under plane stress conditions and for an elastic isotropic Cosserat material. Two types of boundary conditions are possible : imposed couple M on the beam, or rotation of left and right sides of the beam. In the latter case, on can prescribe a microrotation equal to the rotation of the section, but it does not matter in the sense of SaintVenant. The solution takes the form : u1 = Ax1 x2 , A D u2 = x2 + (x2 x2 ), 1 3 2 2 2 2 = 0, u3 = Dx2 x3 (B62) (B63)

1 = Dx3 ,

3 = Ax1

in the coordinate frame dened in gure 3. Under these conditions the nonvanishing components of the deformation and curvature tensors are : e11 = Ax2 , e22 = e33 = Dx2

31 = A,

13 = D


which shows that the solution is in principle fully threedimensional. The fact that the deformation tensor is found to be symmetric means that there is no relative rotation between material lines and the Cosserat directors. The plane stress condition implies that the constant A and D are related by D = A. The nonvanishing stress components are then : 11 = EAx2 , m13 = A((1 + ) (1 )) (B65) (B66)

m31 = A((1 + ) + (1 )) = A

The couple stress component m13 is an outofplane component that should vanish under plane couple stress condition. This can be regarded as a reaction stress that will not be considered here in order to keep the simple form of the solution. Note also that it vanishes for the choice = (1 + )/(1 ). The resulting moment M with respect to axis 3 is computed as : M= (11 x2 + m31 )dx2 dx3 = W A( Eh3 + h) 12 (B67)

which gives A for a given couple M . The additional resistance due to the Cosserat character of the material can be readily seen in the term . Formula (B67) reduces to the classical solution when the Cosserat characteristic length goes to zero or when le is much smaller than h. Plastic case Some elements of the solution of the bending problem for Cosserat elastoplasticity with a single coupled plastic potential (38) are provided here, that can be compared to nite element simulations. We still look for a solution of the form : u1 = Ax1 x2 , 3 = Ax1

where A is the loading parameter. The nonvanishing stress components are 11 et m31 . The component m13 may exist but is not taken into account in the present twodimensional solution. The yield condition reads : 2 2 2 a + bm2 = R0 (B68) 31 3 11 As in the classical solution, a plastic zone starts from the top and the bottom up to x2 = . In the plastic zone, the plastic deformation and curvature are deduced from the ow rules (39) : ep = p 11 2 a 11 , 3 R0 ep = ep = p 22 33 1 a 11 , 3 R0 p = p 31 b m31 R0 (B69)

Combining the elastic and plastic parts of deformation and curvature, we get : e11 = Ax2 = ee + ep = ( 11 11 31 = A = e + p 31 31 1 2 a + p)11 E 3 R0 1 b =( + p)m31 2 R0 (B70) (B71) (B72) Eliminating p from (B70) using (B71), we get : x2 2a 1 1 1 1 a + = ( ) 11 3 b m31 A E 3 b (B73)

This equation combined with (B68) leads to a system of two equations in 11 and m31 . It can be shown that 11 then is a root of an algebraic equation of degree 3, the coecients depending on

the material parameters and on x2 . An simple solution can be given however if the righthand side of (B73) is neglected, which is possible for suciently large values of prescribed A and of 2 2 b/a which is proportional to le /lp . In this case, we get, for a fully plastic beam ( = 0) : m31 = R0 lp 3 a + bx2 2 2 (B74)

and the prole of 11 is deduced from the yield condition (B68). The role played by the plastic characteristic length lp dened by (A58) appears clearly. When lp tends toward zero, the classical solution 11 = R0 3/2a is retrieved. This dependence on lp is illustrated in gure 5. The approximate solution is found to be a good one when compared to a nite element simulation. In contrast, the use of two potentials f and fc according to equation (44) leads to a linear plastic zone of the prole of 11 in the elastic zone and a constant value 11 = R0 / a in the beam. The component m31 remains constant in the beam with the value Rc0 / b.


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