Neglected transport equations: extended Rankine–Hugoniot conditions and J -integrals for fracture

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    Transport equations in integral form are well established for analysis in continuum fluid dynamics but less so for solid mechanics. Four classical continuum mechanics transport equations exist, which describe the transport of mass, momentum, energy and entropy and thus describe the behaviour of density, velocity, temperature and disorder, respectively. However, one transport equation absent from the list is particularly pertinent to solid mechanics and that is a transport equation for movement, from which displacement is described. This paper introduces the fifth transport equation along with a transport equation for mechanical energy and explores some of the corollaries resulting from the existence of these equations. The general applicability of transport equations to discontinuous physics is discussed with particular focus on fracture mechanics. It is well established that bulk properties can be determined from transport equations by application of a control volume methodology. A control volume can be selected to be moving, stationary, mass tracking, part of, or enclosing the whole system domain. The flexibility of transport equations arises from their ability to tolerate discontinuities. It is insightful thus to explore the benefits derived from the displacement and mechanical energy transport equations, which are shown to be beneficial for capturing the physics of fracture arising from a displacement discontinuity. Extended forms of the Rankine–Hugoniot conditions for fracture are established along with extended forms of J -integrals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1525-1552
    Number of pages28
    JournalContinuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics
    Issue number5
    Early online date2 Mar 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


    • Discontinuity
    • Fracture mechanics
    • Movement
    • Transport equations


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