Inserted: 5 feb 2014
Last Updated: 5 feb 2014
We focus on a highly nonlinear evolutionary abstract PDE system describing volume processes coupled with surfaces processes in thermoviscoelasticity, featuring the quasi-static momentum balance, the equation for the unidirectional evolution of an internal variable on the surface, and the equations for the temperature in the bulk domain and the temperature on the surface. A significant example of our system occurs in the modeling for the unidirectional evolution of the adhesion between a body and a rigid support, subject to thermal fluctuations and in contact with friction.
We investigate the related initial-boundary value problem, and in particular the issue of existence of global-in-time solutions, on an abstract level. This allows us to highlight the analytical features of the problem and, at the same time, to exploit the tight coupling between the various equations in order to deduce suitable estimates on (an approximation) of the problem.
Our existence result is proved by passing to the limit in a carefully tailored approximate problem, and by extending the obtained local-in-time solution by means of a refined prolongation argument.