Inserted: 2 sep 2014
Last Updated: 2 sep 2014
Several mechanical systems are modeled by the static momentum balance for the displacement $u$ coupled with a rate-independent flow rule for some internal variable $z$. We consider a class of abstract systems of ODEs which have the same structure, albeit in a finite-dimensional setting, and regularize both the static equation and the rate-independent flow rule by adding viscous dissipation terms with coefficients $\varepsilon^\alpha$ and $\varepsilon$, where $0<\varepsilon \ll 1$ and $\alpha>0$ is a fixed parameter. Therefore for $\alpha \neq 1$ $u$ and $z$ have different relaxation rates.
We address the vanishing-viscosity analysis as $\varepsilon \downarrow 0$ of the viscous system. We prove that, up to a subsequence, (reparameterized) viscous solutions converge to a parameterized curve yielding a Balanced Viscosity solution to the original rate-independent system, and providing an accurate description of the system behavior at jumps. We also give a reformulation of the notion of Balanced Viscosity solution in terms of a system of subdifferential inclusions, showing that the viscosity in $u$ and the one in $z$ are involved in the jump dynamics in different ways, according to whether $\alpha>1$, $\alpha=1$, and $\alpha \in (0,1)$.