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On cavitation in rubberlike materials

Konstantin Volokh's picture

Microscopic voids can irreversibly grow into the macroscopic ones under hydrostatic tension. To explain this phenomenon it was suggested in the literature to use the asymptotic value of the hydrostatic tension in the plateau yield-like region on the stress-stretch curve obtained for the neo-Hookean model. Such an explanation has two limitations: (a) it relies on analysis of only one material model and (b) the hyperelasticity theory is used for the explanation of the failure phenomenon.

In view of the mentioned limitations the objective of the present note is twofold. First, we simulate the cavity expansion in rubber by using various experimentally calibrated hyperelastic models in order to check whether the stress-stretch curves have the plateau yield-like regions independently of the constitutive law. Second, we repeat simulations via these same models enhanced with a failure description. We find (and that was not reported in the literature) that the process of cavity expansion simulated via hyperelastic constitutive models exhibiting stiffening, due to unfolding of long molecules, is completely stable and there are no the plateau yield-like regions on the stress-stretch curves associated with cavitation. In addition, we find that the instability in the form of yielding observed in experiments does appear in all simulations when the constitutive laws incorporate failure description with energy limiters.

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