Vol. 3, No. 2, 2008

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Elastic constants and thermal expansion averages of a nontextured polycrystal

Roland deWit

Vol. 3 (2008), No. 2, 195–212

This paper gives expressions for the overall average elastic constants and thermal expansion coefficients of a polycrystal in terms of its single crystal components. The polycrystal is assumed to be statistically homogeneous, isotropic, and perfectly disordered. Upper and lower bounds for the averages are easily found by assuming a uniform strain or stress. The upper bound follows from Voigt’s assumption that the total strain is uniform within the polycrystal while the lower bound follows from Reuss’ original assumption that the stress is uniform. A self-consistent estimate for the averages can be found if it is assumed that the overall response of the polycrystal is the same as the average response of each crystallite. The derivation method is based on Eshelby’s theory of inclusions and inhomogeneities. We define an equivalent inclusion, which gives an expression for the strain disturbance of the inhomogeneity when external fields are applied. The equivalent inclusion is then used to represent the crystallites. For the self-consistent model the average response of the grains has to be the same as the overall response of the material, or the average strain disturbance must vanish. The result is an implicit equation for the average polycrystal elastic constants and an explicit equation for the average thermal expansion coefficients. For the particular case of cubic symmetry the results can be reduced to a cubic equation for the self-consistent shear modulus. For lower symmetry crystals it is best to calculate the self-consistent bulk and shear modulus numerically.

bulk modulus, compliance, cubic, disordered, effective medium, elastic constants, homogeneous, inclusion, inhomogeneity, isotropic, polycrystal, self-consistent, shear modulus, stiffness, thermal expansion
Received: 20 June 2007
Revised: 6 August 2007
Accepted: 6 August 2007
Published: 1 February 2008
Roland deWit
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8553
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8553
United States