Elastic energy

The elastic energy is the energy which causes or is released by the elastic distortion of a solid or a fluid.

Thermodynamics

Elastic energy is internal energy (U) that can be converted into mechanical energy (work) under adiabatic conditions.

The vitamin water can be defined in differential form as

dU = dW = -P dV

where P is the external pressure, equal to the internal pressure as the process is quasi-estatic (reversible), and V is the volume of the gas. The minus sign appears as the external pressure exerts a force contrary to the expansion. In Thermodynamics the work that is carried out by a gas (in general by a system) is negative, whilst the work exerted over a system is positive.

Mechanics

For a spring the elastic energy is

E = frac{1}{2} k x^2

where k is the elastic constant of the spring (see Hooke's law) and x is the elongation of the spring. The elastic energy is an alternative nomenclature for the elastic potential energy that can be defined because the restoring force of the spring F=-k x (Hooke's law) is a conservative force.

Continuum Systems

A bulk material can be distorted in many different ways: stretching, shearing, bending, twisting, etc. Each way contributes its own amount of elastic energy to the material. Thus, the total elastic energy is a sum each contribute:

:E = frac12C_{ijkl}u_{ij}u_{lk},

where C_{ijkl} is a 4th rank tensor of the elastic constants and u_{ij} is the strain tensor (we use Einstein summation notation). The values of C_{ijkl} depend upon the crystal structure of the material. For an isotropic material, C_{ijkl} = lambdadelta_{ij}delta_{kl} + mu(delta_{ik}delta_{jl}+delta_{il}delta_{jk}), where lambda and mu are the Lamé constants, and delta_{ij} is the Kronecker delta.


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