A theory is presented for the rate modeling of flexible granular solids based on affine average motion of interparticle contacts. We allow contacts to form and break continually but assume the existence of a finite friction coefficient rendering contacts force free as they form or break. The resulting constitutive equations are of the hypoelastic type. A specific model for the deformation of a fiber mass is then developed. The model improves on previous theories for fiber masses in at least two respects: First, it is more general in that it is not restricted to uniaxial compression, although it is restricted to predominantly compressive deformations histories, due to neglect of frictional dissipation. Second, by allowing torsion as well as bending of fibers, this theory covers a larger deformation range. Compression experiments are performed on carded slivers of PA6 fibers under various conditions. The measured response is found to be in close agreement with that predicted by the model.

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