Comment on orthotropic models for concrete and geomaterials

Zdensk P. Bazant*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Incrementally linear constitutive equations that are characterized by an orthotropic tangential stiffness or compliance matrix have recently become widely used in finite element analysis of concrete structures and soils. It does not seem to be, however, widely appreciated that such constitutive equations are limited to loading histories in which the prinicipal stress directions do not rotate, and that a violation of this condition can sometimes have serious consequences. It is demonstrated that in such a case the orthotropic models do not satisfy the form-invariance condition for initially isotropic solids, i.e., the condition that the response predicted by the model must be the same for any choice of coordinate axes in the initial stress-free state. An example shows that the results obtained for various such choices can be rather different. The problem cannot be avoided by rotating the axes of orthotropy during the loading process so as to keep them parallel to the principal stress axes, first, because this would imply rotating against the material, the defects that cause material anisotropy, such as microcracks, and, second, because the principal directions of stress and strain cease to coincide. The recently popular cubic triaxial tests do not give information on loading with rotating principal stress directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-865
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Comment on orthotropic models for concrete and geomaterials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this