The products made by the forming of polycrystalline metals and alloys, which are in high demand in modern industries, have pronounced inhomogeneous distribution of grain orientations. The presence of specific orientation modes in such materials, i.e., crystallographic texture, is responsible for anisotropy of their physical and mechanical properties, e.g., elasticity. A type of anisotropy is usually unknown a priori, and possible ways of its determination is of considerable interest both from theoretical and practical viewpoints. In this work, emphasis is placed on the identification of elasticity classes of polycrystalline materials. By the newly introduced concept of “elasticity class” the union of congruent tensor subspaces of a special form is understood. In particular, it makes it possible to consider the so-called symmetry classification, which is widely spread in solid mechanics. The problem of identification of linear elasticity class for anisotropic material with elastic moduli given in an arbitrary orthonormal basis is formulated. To solve this problem, a general procedure based on constructing the hierarchy of approximations of elasticity tensor in different classes is formulated. This approach is then applied to analyze changes in the elastic symmetry of a representative volume element of polycrystalline copper during numerical experiments on severe plastic deformation. The microstructure evolution is described using a two-level crystal elasto-visco-plasticity model. The well-defined structures, which are indicative of the existence of essentially inhomogeneous distribution of crystallite orientations, were obtained in each experiment. However, the texture obtained in the quasi-axial upsetting experiment demonstrates the absence of significant macroscopic elastic anisotropy. Using the identification framework, it has been shown that the elasticity tensor corresponding to the resultant microstructure proves to be almost isotropic.
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