Classical acoustoelasticity couples small-amplitude elastic wave propagation to an infinitesimal pre-deformation, in order to reveal and evaluate non-destructively third-order elasticity constants. Here, we see that acoustoelasticity can also be used to determine fourth-order constants, simply by coupling a small-amplitude wave with a small-but-finite pre-deformation. We present results for compressible weakly nonlinear elasticity, we make a link with the historical results of Bridgman on the physics of high pressures, and we show how to determine “D”, the so-called fourth-order elasticity constant of soft (incompressible, isotropic) solids by using infinitesimal waves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-374
Number of pages11
JournalWave Motion
Issue number2
Early online date16 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • acousto-elasticity
  • high pressures
  • large pre-tension
  • elastic constants


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