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A Maxwell material is a viscoelastic material having the properties both of elasticity and viscosity. It is named for James Clerk Maxwell who proposed the model in 1867. It is also known as a Maxwell fluid.
The Maxwell model can be represented by a purely viscous damper and a purely elastic spring connected in series, as shown in the diagram. In this configuration, under an applied axial stress, the total stress, and the total strain, can be defined as follows:
where the subscript D indicates the stress/strain in the damper and the subscript S indicates the stress/strain in the spring. Taking the derivative of strain with respect to time, we obtain:
or, in dot notation:
The equation can be applied either to the shear stress or to the uniform tension in a material. In the former case, the viscosity corresponds to that for a Newtonian fluid. In the latter case, it has a slightly different meaning relating stress and rate of strain.
The model is usually applied to the case of small deformations. For the large deformations we should include some geometrical non-linearity. For the simplest way of generalizing the Maxwell model, refer to the upper-convected Maxwell model.
Effect of a sudden deformation
If a Maxwell material is suddenly deformed and held to a strain of , then the stress decays with a characteristic time of .
The picture shows dependence of dimensionless stress upon dimensionless time :
If we free the material at time , then the elastic element will spring back by the value of
Since the viscous element would not return to its original length, the irreversible component of deformation can be simplified to the expression below:
Effect of a sudden stress
If a Maxwell material is suddenly subjected to a stress , then the elastic element would suddenly deform and the viscous element would deform with a constant rate:
If at some time we would release the material, then the deformation of the elastic element would be the spring-back deformation and the deformation of the viscous element would not change:
The Maxwell Model does not exhibit creep since it models strain as linear function of time.
If a small stress is applied for a sufficiently long time, then the irreversible strains become large. Thus, Maxwell material is a type of liquid.
The complex dynamic modulus of a Maxwell material would be:
Thus, the components of the dynamic modulus are :
The picture shows relaxational spectrum for Maxwell material. The relaxation time constant is .
|Blue curve||dimensionless elastic modulus|
|Pink curve||dimensionless modulus of losses|
|Yellow curve||dimensionless apparent viscosity|
|X-axis||dimensionless frequency .|
- Roylance, David (2001). Engineering Viscoelasticity. Cambridge, MA 02139: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. pp. 8–11.
- Christensen, R. M (1971). Theory of Viscoelasticity. London, W1X6BA: Academic Press. pp. 16–20.