The Elasticity Tensor

how to calculate and plot the elasticity properties

MTEX offers a very simple way to compute elasticity properties of materials. This includes Young's modulus, linear compressibility, Christoffel tensor, and elastic wave velocities.

On this page ...
Import an Elasticity Tensor
Young's Modulus
Linear Compressibility
Christoffel Tensor
Elastic Wave Velocity

Import an Elasticity Tensor

Let us start by importing the elastic stiffness tensor of an Olivine crystal in reference orientation from a file.

fname = fullfile(mtexDataPath,'tensor','Olivine1997PC.GPa');

cs = crystalSymmetry('mmm',[4.7646 10.2296 5.9942],'mineral','Olivin');

C = loadTensor(fname,cs,'propertyname','elastic stiffness','unit','Pa','interface','generic')
 
C = tensor  
  propertyname: elastic stiffness
  unit        : Pa               
  rank        : 4 (3 x 3 x 3 x 3)
  mineral     : Olivin (mmm)     
 
  tensor in Voigt matrix representation:
 320.5  68.2  71.6     0     0     0
  68.2 196.5  76.8     0     0     0
  71.6  76.8 233.5     0     0     0
     0     0     0    64     0     0
     0     0     0     0    77     0
     0     0     0     0     0  78.7

Young's Modulus

Young's modulus is also known as the tensile modulus and measures the stiffness of elastic materials It is computed for a specific direction x by the command YoungsModulus.

x = xvector;
E = YoungsModulus(C,x)
E =
  286.9284

It can be plotted by passing the option YoungsModulus to the plot command.

setMTEXpref('defaultColorMap',blue2redColorMap);
plot(C,'PlotType','YoungsModulus','complete','upper')

Linear Compressibility

The linear compressibility is the deformation of an arbitrarily shaped specimen caused by an increase in hydrostatic pressure and can be described by a second rank tensor. It is computed for a specific direction x by the command linearCompressibility.

beta = linearCompressibility(C,x)
beta =
    0.0018

It can be plotted by passing the option linearCompressibility to the plot command.

plot(C,'PlotType','linearCompressibility','complete','upper')

Christoffel Tensor

The Christoffel Tensor is symmetric because of the symmetry of the elastic constants. The eigenvalues of the 3x3 Christoffel tensor are three positive values of the wave moduli which corresponds to \rho Vp^2 , \rho Vs1^2 and \rho Vs2^2 of the plane waves propagating in the direction n. The three eigenvectors of this tensor are then the polarization directions of the three waves. Because the Christoffel tensor is symmetric, the polarization vectors are perpendicular to each other.

% It is computed for a specific direction x by the
% command <tensor.ChristoffelTensor.html ChristoffelTensor>.

T = ChristoffelTensor(C,x)
 
T = Christoffel tensor  
  propertyname: elastic stiffness
  rank        : 2 (3 x 3)        
  mineral     : Olivin (mmm)     
 
 320.5     0     0
     0  78.7     0
     0     0    77

Elastic Wave Velocity

The Christoffel tensor is the basis for computing the direction dependent wave velocities of the p, s1, and s2 wave, as well as of the polarization directions. Therefore, we need also the density of the material, e.g.,

rho = 2.3
rho =
    2.3000

which we can write directly into the ellastic stiffness tensor

C = addOption(C,'density',rho)
 
C = tensor  
  propertyname: elastic stiffness
  unit        : Pa               
  density     : 2.3              
  rank        : 4 (3 x 3 x 3 x 3)
  mineral     : Olivin (mmm)     
 
  tensor in Voigt matrix representation:
 320.5  68.2  71.6     0     0     0
  68.2 196.5  76.8     0     0     0
  71.6  76.8 233.5     0     0     0
     0     0     0    64     0     0
     0     0     0     0    77     0
     0     0     0     0     0  78.7

Then the velocities are computed by the command velocity

[vp,vs1,vs2,pp,ps1,ps2] = velocity(C,xvector)
vp =
   11.8046
vs1 =
    5.8496
vs2 =
    5.7860
 
pp = vector3d  
 size: 1 x 1
 antipodal: true
  x y z
  1 0 0
 
ps1 = vector3d  
 size: 1 x 1
 antipodal: true
  x y z
  0 1 0
 
ps2 = vector3d  
 size: 1 x 1
 antipodal: true
  x y z
  0 0 1

In order to visualize these quantities, there are several possibilities. Let us first plot the direction dependent wave speed of the p-wave

plot(C,'PlotType','velocity','vp','complete','upper')

Next, we plot on the top of this plot the p-wave polarization direction.

hold on
plot(C,'PlotType','velocity','pp','complete','upper')
hold off

Finally, we visualize the speed difference between the s1 and s2 waves together with the fast shear-wave polarization.

plot(C,'PlotType','velocity','vs1-vs2','complete','upper')

hold on
plot(C,'PlotType','velocity','ps1','complete','upper')
hold off

set back default colormap

setMTEXpref('defaultColorMap',WhiteJetColorMap)