Rubber bearings, used for seismic isolation of structures, undergo large shear deformations during earthquakes as a result of the horizontal motion of the ground. However, the bearings are also compressed by the weight of the structure and possible traffic on it. Hence, failure analysis of rubber bearings should combine compression and shear. Such combination is considered in the present communication. In order to analyze failure, the strain energy density is enhanced with a limiter, which describes rubber damage. The inception of material instability and the onset of damage are marked by the violation of the condition of strong ellipticity, which is studied in the present work. Results of the studies suggest that horizontal cracks should appear because of the dominant shear deformation in accordance with the experimental observations. It is remarkable that compression delays failure in terms of the critical stretches.

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