Comparison of theoretical elastic couple stress predictions with physical experiments for pure torsion
Several different versions of couple stress theory have appeared in the literature, including the indeterminate Mindlin-Tiersten-Koiter couple stress theory (MTK-CST), indeterminate symmetric modified couple stress theory (M-CST) and determinate skew-symmetric consistent couple stress theory (C-CST). First, the solutions within each of these theories for pure torsion of cylindrical bars composed of isotropic elastic material are presented and found to provide a remarkable basis for comparison with observed physical response. In particular, recent novel physical experiments to characterize torsion of micro-diameter copper wires in quasi-static tests show no significant size effect in the elastic range. This result agrees with the prediction of the skew-symmetric C-CST that there is no size effect for torsion of an elastic circular bar in quasi-static loading, because the mean curvature tensor vanishes in a pure twist deformation. On the other hand, solutions within the other two theories exhibit size-dependent torsional response, which depends upon either one or two additional material parameters, respectively, for the indeterminate symmetric M-CST or indeterminate MTK-CST. Results are presented to illustrate the magnitude of the expected size-dependence within these two theories in torsion. Interestingly, if the material length scales for copper in these two theories with size-dependent torsion is on the order of microns or larger, then the recent physical experiments in torsion would align only with the self-consistent skew-symmetric couple stress theory, which inherently shows no size effect.