Residual stresses in random elastic composites: nonlocal micromechanics-based models and first estimates of the RVE size

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 Random elastic composites with residual stresses are examined in this paper with the aim of understanding how the prestress may influence the overall mechanical properties of the composite. A fully non-local effective response is found in perfect analogy with the un-prestressed case examined in (Drugan, W.J. and Willis, J.R., A micromechanics-based nonlocal constitutive equation and estimates of representative volume element size for elastic composites, JMPS 44 (4), 497--524, 1996). The second gradient approximation is considered and the impact of the residual stresses on the estimate of the RVE size is studied whenever the local response is used to describe the mechanical properties of the heterogeneous medium. To this aim, total and incremental formulations are worked out in this paper and the influence of both uniform and spatially varying prestresses are studied. Among other results, it is shown how rapid oscillations of relatively "small" residual stresses in most cases may result in the impossibility of describing the overall behavior of the composite with a local constitutive equation. On the other hand, prestresses with relatively high amplitudes and slow spatial oscillations may even reduce the RVE size required for approximating the mechanical properties of un-prestressed heterogeneous media with a local constitutive equation. 


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