On the micromechanics theory of Reissner-Mindlin plates

Research paper by S. Li

Indexed on: 01 Mar '00Published on: 01 Mar '00Published in: Acta mechanica


A micromechanics model is developed for the Reissner-Mindlin plate. A generalized eigenstrain formulation, i.e., an eigencurvature/eigen-rotation formulation, is proposed, which is the analogue or counterpart of the eigenstrain formulation in linear elasticity. The micromechanics model of the Reissner-Mindlin plate is useful in the study of mechanical behavior of composite plates that contain randomly distributed inhomogeneities, whose sizes are close to the order of thickness of the plate; under those circumstances, the use of micromechanics of linear elasticity is not justified, and moreover, it is inconsistent with structural theories, such as the Reissner-Mindlin plate theory, that are actually used in engineering design.In this paper, the analytical solution of an elliptical inclusion embedded in an infinite thick plate is sought. In particular, the first order asymptotic (or approximated) solution of the elliptical inclusion problem is obtained in explicit form. Accordingly, the Eshelby tensors of the Reissner-Mindlin plate are derived, which relate eigencurvature and eigen-rotation to the induced curvature and shear deformation fields. Several variational inequalities of the Reissner-Mindlin plate are discussed and derived, including the comparison variational principles of Hashin-Shtrikman/Talbot-Willis, type. As an application, variational bounds are derived to estimate the effective elastic stiffness of Reissner-Mindlin plates, specifically, the flexural rigidity and transverse shear modulus. The newly derived bounds are congruous with the Reissner-Mindlin plate theory, and they provide an optimal estimation on effective rigidity as well as effective transverse shear modulus for unstructured composite thick plates.