Decomposition of elastic constant tensor into orthogonal parts

Dinçkal, Çiğdem
All procedures in the literature for decomposing symmetric second rank (stress) tensor and symmetric fourth rank (elastic constant) tensor are elaborated and compared which have many engineering and scientific applications for anisotropic materials. The decomposition methods for symmetric second rank tensors are orthonormal tensor basis method, complex variable representation and spectral method. For symmetric fourth rank (elastic constant) tensor, there are four mainly decomposition methods namely as, orthonormal tensor basis, irreducible, harmonic decomposition and spectral. Those are applied to anisotropic materials possessing various symmetry classes which are isotropic, cubic, transversely isotropic, tetragonal, trigonal and orthorhombic. For isotropic materials, an expression for the elastic constant tensor different than the traditionally known form is given. Some misprints found in the literature are corrected. For comparison purposes, numerical examples of each decomposition process are presented for the materials possessing different symmetry classes. Some applications of these decomposition methods are given. Besides, norm and norm ratio concepts are introduced to measure and compare the anisotropy degree for various materials with the same or di¤erent symmetries. For these materials,norm and norm ratios are calculated. It is suggested that the norm of a tensor may be used as a criterion for comparing the overall e¤ect of the properties of anisotropic materials and the norm ratios may be used as a criterion to represent the anisotropy degree of the properties of materials. Finally, comparison of all methods are done in order to determine similarities and differences between them. As a result of this comparison process, it is proposed that the spectral method is a non-linear decomposition method which yields non-linear orthogonal decomposed parts. For symmetric second rank and fourth rank tensors, this case is a significant innovation in decomposition procedures in the literature.