The matching property of infinitesimal isometries on elliptic surfaces and elasticity of thin shells

Using the notion of Gamma-convergence, we discuss the limiting behavior of the 3d nonlinear elastic energy for thin elliptic shells, as their thickness h converges to zero, under the assumption that the elastic energy of deformations scales like $h^\beta$ with $2<\beta<4$. We establish that, for the given scaling regime, the limiting theory reduces to the linear pure bending. Two major ingredients of the proofs are: the density of smooth infinitesimal isometries in the space of $W^{2,2}$ first order infinitesimal isometries, and a result on matching smooth infinitesimal isometries with exact isometric immersions on smooth elliptic surfaces.

Comments: 21 pages

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