The normality structure proposed by [Rice, J.R., 1971. Inelastic constitutive relations for solids: an integral variable theory and its application to metal plasticity. J. Mech. Phys. Solids 19, 433-455.] provides a minimal framework of multiscale thermodynamics. As shown in this paper, Rice's multiscale thermodynamic formalism is exactly consistent with Ziegler's essential notion [Ziegler, H., 1977. An Introduction to Thermomechanics, North-Holland, Amsterdam.] that the entire constitutive response is determined by the knowledge of two scalar potential functions: an energy function and a dissipation function. In Rice's multiscale thermodynamic formulation, the variational equation relating macroscale and microscale thermodynamic fluxes and forces plays a central role and ensures the equality between microscale and macroscale dissipation rate. The variational equation can be further reformulated into a principle of maximum equivalent dissipation. Based on the variation equation, the transformation from microscale to macroscale is characterized by two linear transformations with the same corresponding matrix. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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