Damage as a material phase transition

Andrea Bucchi, Domenico De Tommasi, Giuseppe Puglisi*, Giuseppe Saccomandi

*Corresponding author for this work

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We propose paradigmatic examples to show how material damage phenomena can be efficiently described as a solid-solid phase transition. Starting from the pioneering work of J.L. Ericksen (J. Elast. 5(3):191–201, 1975) and the extensions of R.L. Fosdick and other authors to three-dimensional non linear elasticity, we describe the insurgence of damage as a hard → soft transition between two material states (damage and undamaged) characterized by two different energy wells. We consider the two separate constitutive assumptions of a simple Neo-Hookean type damageable material and a more complex microstructure inspired damageable Gent type material with variable limit threshold of the first invariant. In both cases we study two different deformation shear classes, one homogeneous and the other one inhomogeneous and obtain fully analytic description of the system damage response under cyclic loading. The considered constitutive assumptions and deformation classes are aimed at attaining fully analytic descriptions. On the other hand, we remark that the proposed, Griffith type, variational approach of damage, based on two different energy density functions for the damaged and undamaged material phases, and a resulting non (rank-one) convex energy, can be extended to systems with more complex energy functions, possibly with a larger number of wells representing an increasing degree of damage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Elasticity
Early online date26 Apr 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 26 Apr 2023


  • Antiplane shear
  • Damage
  • Damageable Gent material
  • Non convex energy
  • Phase transition
  • Simple shear

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