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Henry Tan's picture

an interesting puzzle: multiscale mechanics

an interesting puzzle for fun:

Lame’s classical solution for an elastic 2D plate, with a hole of radius a and uniform tensile stress applied at the far field, gives a stress concentration factor (SCF) of two at the edge of the hole. This SCF=2 is independent of the hole radius.

Consider what happened to this concentration factor if the radius a approaches infinitely small. The SCF is independent of a, so it remains equal to two even when the hole disappears.

Perturbation analysis of a wavy film in a multi-layered structure

A free surface in a multi-layer can experience an undulation due to surface diffusion during fabrication or etching process. In order to analyze the undulation, the elasticity solution for the undulating film is needed. Considering the undulation as a perturbation of a flat surface, a boundary value problem for 2D elasticity is formulated. The solution procedure is straightforward, but very lengthy especially for a multi-layer.


Singular elastic stress fields are generally developed at sharp re-entrant corners and at the end of bonded interfaces between dissimilar elastic materials. This behaviour can present difficulties in both analytical and numerical solution of such problems. For example, excessive mesh refinement might be needed in a finite element solution.

Konstantin Volokh's picture

Griffith controversy

Using the Griffith energy method for analysis of cavitation under hydrostatic tension we conclude that the critical tension tends to infinity when the cavity radius approaches zero (IJSS, 2006, doi: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2006.12.022). The conclusion is physically meaningless, of course. Moreover, if we assume that the failure process occurs at the edge of the cavity then the critical tension should be length-independent for small but finite cavities while the Griffith analysis always exhibits length-dependence. The main Griffith idea - introduction of the surface energy - is controversial because it sets up the characteristic length, say, surface energy over volume energy. By no means is this approach in peace with the length-independent classical continuum mechanics.

Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

Eshelby and his two classics (and some more on the side)

Eshelby and the inclusion/inhomogeneity problems

Any materials scientist interested in mechanical behaviour would be aware of the contributions of J.D. Eshelby. With 56 papers, Eshelby revolutionised our understanding of the theory of materials. The problem that I wish to discuss in this page is the elastic stress and strain fields due to an ellipsoidal inclusion/inhomogeneity - a problem that was solved by Eshelby using an elegant thought experiment.

In two papers published in the Proceedings of Royal Society (A) in 1957 and 1959 (Volume 241, p. 376 and Volume 252, p. 561) Eshelby solved the following problem ("with the help of a simple set of imaginary cutting, straining and welding operations"): In his own words,

MichelleLOyen's picture

S. Germain, "Memoir on the Vibrations of Elastic Plates"

I have not read the above-mentioned paper, as I have never been able to find it. However it is said to be "a brilliantly insightful paper which was to lay the foundations of modern elasticity." However, I believe it is also noteworthy for being one of the major contributions by a female mechanician prior to the modern era. For a great biography of Sophie Germain, including a fantastic quote from a letter from Carl Gauss on discovering that she was female--and not "Monsieur Le Blanc"--visit this site (from which the above quote, on the impact of her paper, came).

There are no female mechanicians listed on but I believe it could be argued that Germain deserves a mention!


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