Journal of Elasticity

, Volume 137, Issue 2, pp 119–149 | Cite as

Geometric Variational Principles for Computational Homogenization

  • Cédric BellisEmail author
  • Pierre Suquet


The homogenization of periodic elastic composites is addressed through the reformulation of the local equations of the mechanical problem in a geometric functional setting. This relies on the definition of Hilbert spaces of kinematically and statically admissible tensor fields, whose orthogonality and duality properties are recalled. These are endowed with specific energetic scalar products that make use of a reference and uniform elasticity tensor. The corresponding strain and stress Green’s operators are introduced and interpreted as orthogonal projection operators in the admissibility spaces. In this context and as an alternative to classical minimum energy principles, two geometric variational principles are investigated with the introduction of functionals that aim at measuring the discrepancy of arbitrary test fields to the kinematic, static or material admissibility conditions of the problem. By relaxing the corresponding local equations, this study aims in particular at laying the groundwork for the homogenization of composites whose constitutive properties are only partially known or uncertain. The local fields in the composite and their macroscopic responses are computed through the minimization of the proposed geometric functionals. To do so, their gradients are computed using the Green’s operators and gradient-based optimization schemes are discussed. A FFT-based implementation of these schemes is proposed and they are assessed numerically on a canonical example for which analytical solutions are available.


Composite materials Helmholtz decomposition Green’s operators Lippmann-Schwinger equation Gradient-based algorithms 

Mathematics Subject Classification

74Q05 74B05 74B20 35A15 



Fruitful discussions with H. Moulinec and J.-C. Michel are gratefully acknowledged. The Authors have received funding from Excellence Initiative of Aix-Marseille University - A*MIDEX, a French “Investissements d’Avenir” program in the framework of the Labex MEC.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Centrale Marseille, LMAMarseilleFrance

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