Homogenization of linear viscoelastic heterogeneous media is here extended from two phase inclusion-matrix media to three phase inclusion-matrix media. Each phase obeying to a compressible maxwellian behaviour, this analytic method leads to an equivalent elastic homogenization problem in the Laplace-Carson space. For some particular microstructures, such as the Hashin composite sphere assemblage, an exact solution is obtained. The inversion of the Laplace-Carson transforms of the overall stress-strain behaviour gives in such cases an internal variable formulation. As expected, the number of these internal variables and their evolution laws are modified to take into account the third phase. Moreover, evolution laws of averaged stresses and strains per phase can still be derived for three phase media. Results of this model are compared to full fields computations of representative volume elements using finite element method, for various concentrations and sizes of inclusion. Relaxation and creep test cases are performed in order to compare predictions of the effective response. The internal variable formulation is shown to yield accurate prediction in both cases. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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