representative volume element


representative volume element
a representative volume element (RVE) for a continuum body is a material volume that is statistically representative of the continuum body. Thus, an RVE must embody sufficient microstructure so that all macroscopic characteristics such as constituent volume fractions, constituent orientation, and location distributions, etc. are the same in any other RVE, irrespective of its position. A companion concept is the statistical homogeneity, which implies that macroscopic averages and RVE averages are the same.

Mechanics glossary. 2013.

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