We discuss advanced constitutive models based on variational formulations to be used for the analysis of multi-physics (and typically multi-scale) problems. Modern engineering applications often involve weakly or strongly coupled problems, where mechanical parts have to account for changes in temperature, electric fields, magnetic fields, chemical potentials, and for solid and fluid interaction. As engineers, we are interested in tackling all the physical aspects of a problem to finding the most efficient solution. When coupled problems are concerned, the support of scientist from other branches of sciences is highly requested and appreciated. In order to spread ideas that can be fruitfully applied to different coupled problems, in this Minisymposium we would like to focus on thermodynamically consistent constitutive modelling of materials. As relevant example, we mention:
- thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical problems
- biological tissues
- active magneto-electric elastomers
- multiple porosity materials
- failure in reacting materials
- evolving micro-structured materials
Variational models to be discussed here should conceal smoothly different length scales, or include numerical techniques capable to blend multi-scale models, or show robustness characteristics able to avoid numerical instabilities, all within a consistent thermodynamic framework. The mini-symposium aims at gathering a remarkable group of scientists and engineers active in this well-defined research field.