Royal Society Publishing

The Determination of the Elastic Field of an Ellipsoidal Inclusion, and Related Problems

J. D. Eshelby


It is supposed that a region within an isotropic elastic solid undergoes a spontaneous change of form which, if the surrounding material were absent, would be some prescribed homogeneous deformation. Because of the presence of the surrounding material stresses will be present both inside and outside the region. The resulting elastic field may be found very simply with the help of a sequence of imaginary cutting, straining and welding operations. In particular, if the region is an ellipsoid the strain inside it is uniform and may be expressed in terms of tabulated elliptic integrals. In this case a further problem may be solved. An ellipsoidal region in an infinite medium has elastic constants different from those of the rest of the material; how does the presence of this inhomogeneity disturb an applied stress-field uniform at large distances? It is shown that to answer several questions of physical or engineering interest it is necessary to know only the relatively simple elastic field inside the ellipsoid.

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