General method of regularization. I: Functionals defined on BD space
The aim of this paper is to prove that the relaxation of the elastic-perfectly plastic energy (of a solid made of a Hencky material) is the lower semicontinuous regularization of the plastic energy. We find the integral representation of a non-locally coercive functional. In part II, we will show that the set of solutions of the relaxed problem is equal to the set of solutions of the relaxed problem proposed by Suquet. Moreover, we will prove the existence theorem for the limit analysis problem.