3R29. Theory of Porous Media: Highlights in Historical Development and Current State. - R de Boer (Inst fur Mechanik, Univ Essen, Fachbereich 10 Bauwesen, Essen, D-45117, Germany). Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 2000. 618 pp. ISBN 3-540-65982-X. $95.00.

Reviewed by N Katsube (Dept of Mech Eng, Ohio State Univ, 206 W 18th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210).

This book consists of historical and recent development of porous material theory, can be used as a reference book in this area. In the early and classical era, general development of continuum mechanics such as Cauchy’s formulation of the stress concept, the development of linear elasticity theory, and the foundation of thermodynamics are summarized. At the end of each chapter, biographical notes of the important contributors are outlined. There the readers could learn about the lives of these prominent researchers, including their characters, and the nature of scholarly debates. The readers can also learn about how the lives of these researchers were influenced by the historical events, and how failure in one event had led to success in another.

In the modern era, the emphasis is placed on the porous materials. The historical review includes the controversy between Fillunger and von Terzaghi and the subsequent development of the theory by Biot and others. Further development of elasticity and plasticity theories and a more modern framework of continuum mechanics and mixture theory are also discussed.

The current state of porous material theory reflects the author’s work as well as the related work developed mostly in Europe. It is based on the assumption that the deformation gradient of the constituent can be separated into the part due to the real material and the part due to the change of the pores in size and shape through a multiplicative decomposition process. In developing constitutive theories, the principle of material objectivity as well as entropy inequality is employed. An extensive development of a porous material theory is presented based on these theoretical frameworks.

Theory of Porous Media: Highlights in Historical Development and Current State is a great book to have if you would like to know about the historical development of porous material theory since many of the letters and articles written by the researchers in early days are not available in English. In addition, if you would like to follow the recent development of porous material theory, which is consistent with the above stated assumptions, this book will provide an extensive review. However, the reader should be aware that this is not the only approach available in the area of porous materials. There are a number of different approaches available for the development of constitutive behavior of porous materials. These other approaches are more phenomenologically based and often motivated by experimental observations. The developed models are verified by experimental data and used to solve important practical problems.