Acoustics of soft solids

17 February 2011
Rubbers and biological soft tissues undergo large isochoric motions in service, and can thus be modelled as nonlinear, incompressible elastic solids. It is easy to enforce incompressibility in the finite (exact) theory of nonlinear elasticity, but not so simple in the weakly nonlinear formulation, where the stress is expanded in successive powers of the strain. In linear and second-order elasticity, incompressibility means that Poisson's ratio is 1/2. Here we show how third- and fourth-order elastic constants behave in the incompressible limit. For applications, we turn to the propagation of elastic waves in soft incompressible solids, a topic of crucial importance in medical imaging (joint work with Ray Ogden, University of Aberdeen).
  • Differential Equations and Applications Seminar