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MiS Preprint

The Mullins effect in rubbers from the point of view of damage mechanics

Antonio DeSimone, Jean-Jacques Marigo and Luciano Teresi


When a specimen of natural rubber is subjected to a load-unload-reload cycle, the stress accompanying a given stretch is always smaller during reloading than in the virgin loading path. This stress softening phenomenon is known as the Mullins effect.

From a phenomenological viewpoint, the Mullins effect implies a decrease of the elastic stiffness as the maximum strain (or stress) ever experienced by the material increases. This phenomenon is well described by damage mechanics. This paper shows that the Mullins effect falls within the framework of the "generalized standard material" based on the notion of a "normal dissipative mechanism", and that local and global convexity properties of the functions governing such mechanism lead to local and global uniqueness of the specimen response.


Related publications

2001 Repository Open Access
Antonio DeSimone, Jean-Jacques Marigo and Luciano Teresi

A damage mechanics approach to stress softening and its application to rubber

In: European journal of mechanics / A, 20 (2001) 6, pp. 873-892