The governing equations for a homogeneous and isotropic thermoelastic medium are formulated in the context of coupled thermoelasticity, Lord and Shulman theory of generalized thermoelasticity with one relaxation time, Green and Lindsay theory of generalized thermoelasticity with two relaxation times, Green and Nagdhi theory of thermoelasticity without energy dissipation and Chandrasekharaiah and Tzou theory of thermoelasticity. These governing equations are solved to obtain general surface wave solutions. The particular solutions in a half-space are obtained with the help of appropriate radiation conditions. The two types of boundaries at athe surface of a half-space are considered namely, the stress free thermally insulated boundary and stress free isothermal boundary. The particular solutions obtained in a half-space satisfy the relevant boundary conditions at the free surface of the half-space and a frequency equation for the Rayleigh wave speed is obtained for both thermally insulated and isothermal cases. The non-dimensional Rayleigh wave speed is computed for aluminium metal to observe the effects of frequency, thermal relaxation time and different theories of thermoelasticity.
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