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Concept# Finite strain theory

Summary

In continuum mechanics, the finite strain theory—also called large strain theory, or large deformation theory—deals with deformations in which strains and/or rotations are large enough to invalidate assumptions inherent in infinitesimal strain theory. In this case, the undeformed and deformed configurations of the continuum are significantly different, requiring a clear distinction between them. This is commonly the case with elastomers, plastically-deforming materials and other fluids and biological soft tissue.
The displacement of a body has two components: a rigid-body displacement and a deformation.
A rigid-body displacement consists of a simultaneous translation and rotation of the body without changing its shape or size.
Deformation implies the change in shape and/or size of the body from an initial or undeformed configuration to a current or deformed configuration (Figure 1).
A change in the configuration of a continuum body can be described by a displacement field. A displacement field is a vector field of all displacement vectors for all particles in the body, which relates the deformed configuration with the undeformed configuration. The distance between any two particles changes if and only if deformation has occurred. If displacement occurs without deformation, then it is a rigid-body displacement.
The displacement of particles indexed by variable i may be expressed as follows. The vector joining the positions of a particle in the undeformed configuration and deformed configuration is called the displacement vector. Using in place of and in place of , both of which are vectors from the origin of the coordinate system to each respective point, we have the Lagrangian description of the displacement vector:
where are the orthonormal unit vectors that define the basis of the spatial (lab-frame) coordinate system.
Expressed in terms of the material coordinates, i.e. as a function of , the displacement field is:
where is the displacement vector representing rigid-body translation.

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Deformation (physics)

In physics and continuum mechanics, deformation is the transformation of a body from a reference configuration to a current configuration. A configuration is a set containing the positions of all particles of the body. A deformation can occur because of external loads, intrinsic activity (e.g. muscle contraction), body forces (such as gravity or electromagnetic forces), or changes in temperature, moisture content, or chemical reactions, etc. Strain is related to deformation in terms of relative displacement of particles in the body that excludes rigid-body motions.

Plasticity (physics)

In physics and materials science, plasticity (also known as plastic deformation) is the ability of a solid material to undergo permanent deformation, a non-reversible change of shape in response to applied forces. For example, a solid piece of metal being bent or pounded into a new shape displays plasticity as permanent changes occur within the material itself. In engineering, the transition from elastic behavior to plastic behavior is known as yielding. Plastic deformation is observed in most materials, particularly metals, soils, rocks, concrete, and foams.

Continuum mechanics

Continuum mechanics is a branch of mechanics that deals with the deformation of and transmission of forces through materials modeled as a continuous mass rather than as discrete particles. The French mathematician Augustin-Louis Cauchy was the first to formulate such models in the 19th century. A continuum model assumes that the substance of the object completely fills the space it occupies. This ignores the fact that matter is made of atoms, however provides a sufficiently accurate description of matter on length scales much greater than that of inter-atomic distances.

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