Infinite energy cavitating solutions: a variational approach

Pablo V Negron-Marrero, Jeyabal Sivaloganathan

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We study the phenomenon of cavitation for the displacement boundary value problem of radial, isotropic compressible elasticity for a class of stored energy functions of the form W(F) + h(det F), where W grows like \| F\| n and n is the space dimension. In this case it follows (from a result of Vodop'yanov, Gol'dshtein, and Reshetnyak) that discontinuous deformations must have infinite energy. After characterizing the rate at which this energy blows up, we introduce a modified energy functional which differs from the original by a null Lagrangian and for which cavitating energy minimizers with finite energy exist. In particular, the Euler-Lagrange equations for the modified energy functional are identical to those for the original problem except for the boundary condition at the inner cavity. This new boundary condition states that a certain modified radial Cauchy stress function has to vanish at the inner cavity. This condition corresponds to the radial Cauchy stress for the original functional diverging to - \infty at the cavity surface. Many previously known variational results for finite energy cavitating solutions now follow for the modified functional, such as the existence of radial energy minimizers, satisfaction of the Euler-Lagrange equations for such minimizers, and the existence of a critical boundary displacement for cavitation. We also discuss a numerical scheme for computing these singular cavitating solutions using regular solutions for punctured balls. We show the convergence of this numerical scheme and give some numerical examples including one for the incompressible limit case. Our approach is motivated in part by the use of the ``renormalized energy"" for Ginzburg-Landau vortices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-871
Number of pages23
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Issue number3
Early online date19 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022


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