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An exploration of representations of free energies and associated rates of dissipation for a broad class of nonlinear viscoelastic materials is presented in this work. Also included are expressions for the stress functions and work functions derivable from such free energies. For simplicity, only the scalar case is considered. Certain standard formulae are generalized to include higher power terms.

It is shown that the correct initial procedure in this context is to specify the rate of dissipation as a positive semi-definite functional and then to determine the free energy from this, rather than the other way around, which would be the traditional approach.

Particularly detailed versions of these formulae are given for the model with two memory contributions in the free energy, the first being the well-known quadratic functional leading to constitutive relations with linear history terms, while the second is a quartic functional yielding a cubic term for the stress function memory dependence. Also, the discrete spectrum model, for which each memory kernel is a sum of exponentials, is generalized from the quadratic functional representation for the free energy to that with the quartic functional included.

Finally, a model is considered, allowing functional power series with an infinite number of terms for the free energy, rate of dissipation and stress function.


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