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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2003 (2003), Issue 4, Pages 153-171

Thermomechanical constraints and constitutive formulations in thermoelasticity

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Received 7 December 2002

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The publication of this article was funded by SCOAP3.


We investigate three classes of constraints in a thermoelastic body: (i) a deformation-temperature constraint, (ii) a deformation-entropy constraint, and (iii) a deformation-energy constraint. These constraints are obtained as limits of unconstrained thermoelastic materials and we show that constraints (ii) and (iii) are equivalent. By using a limiting procedure, we show that for the constraint (i), the entropy plays the role of a Lagrange multiplier while for (ii) and (iii), the absolute temperature plays the role of Lagrange multiplier. We further demonstrate that the governing equations for materials subject to constraint (i) are identical to those of an unconstrained material whose internal energy is an affine function of the entropy, while those for materials subject to constraints (ii) and (iii) are identical to those of an unstrained material whose Helmholtz potential is affine in the absolute temperature. Finally, we model the thermoelastic response of a peroxide-cured vulcanizate of natural rubber and show that imposing the constraint in which the volume change depends only on the internal energy leads to very good predictions (compared to experimental results) of the stress and temperature response under isothermal and isentropic conditions.