A detailed variational formulation is provided for a simplified strain gradient elasticity theory by using the principle of minimum total potential energy. This leads to the simultaneous determination of the equilibrium equations and the complete boundary conditions of the theory for the first time. To supplement the stress-based formulation, the coordinate-invariant displacement form of the simplified strain gradient elasticity theory is also derived anew. In view of the lack of a consistent and complete formulation, derivation details are included for the tutorial purpose. It is shown that both the stress and displacement forms of the simplified strain gradient elasticity theory obtained reduce to their counterparts in classical elasticity when the strain gradient effect (a measure of the underlying material microstructure) is not considered. As a direct application of the newly obtained displacement form of the theory, the problem of a pressurized thick-walled cylinder is analytically solved. The solution contains a material length scale parameter and can account for microstructural effects, which is qualitatively different from Lamé's solution in classical elasticity. In the absence of the strain gradient effect, this strain gradient elasticity solution reduces to Lamé's solution. The numerical results reveal that microstructural effects can be large and Lamé's solution may not be accurate for materials exhibiting significant microstructure dependence. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gao, X. L., & Park, S. K. (2007). Variational formulation of a simplified strain gradient elasticity theory and its application to a pressurized thick-walled cylinder problem. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 44(22–23), 7486–7499. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2007.04.022