A generalization of conventional deterministic finite element and difference methods to deal with spatial material fluctuations hinges on the problem of determination of stochastic constitutive laws. This problem is analyzed here through a paradigm of micromechanics of elastic polycrystals and matrix-inclusion composites. Passage to a sought-for random meso-continuum is based on a scale dependent window playing the role of a Representative Volume Element (RVE). It turns out that the microstructure cannot be uniquely approximated by a random field of stiffness with continuous realizations, but, rather, two random continuum fields may be introduced to bound the material response from above and from below. Since the RVE corresponds to a single finite element, or finite difference cell, not infinitely larger than the crystal size, these two random fields are to be used to bound the solution of a given boundary value problem at a given scale of resolution. The window-based random continuum formulation is also employed in analysis of rigid perfectly-plastic materials, whereby the classical method of slip-lines is generalized to a stochastic finite difference scheme. The present paper is complemented by a comparison of this methodology to other existing stochastic solution methods.

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