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research-article

'Electromechanical modelling of softening behavior for dielectric elastomers

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiongfei Lv

Department of Astronautic Science and Mechanics, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), P.O. Box 301, No. 92 West Dazhi Street, Harbin 150001, People's Republic of China
lxf642491517@qq.com

Liwu Liu

Department of Astronautic Science and Mechanics, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), P.O. Box 301, No. 92 West Dazhi Street, Harbin 150001, People's Republic of China
liulw@hit.edu.cn

Yanju Liu

Department of Astronautic Science and Mechanics, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), P.O. Box 301, No. 92 West Dazhi Street, Harbin 150001, People's Republic of China
yj_liu@hit.edu.cn

Jinsong Leng

Centre for Composite Materials and Structures, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), P.O. Box 3011, No. 2 Yikuang Street, Harbin 150080, People's Republic of China
lengjinsong@yahoo.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040405 History: Received January 30, 2018; Revised May 20, 2018

Abstract

Dielectric elastomer (DE) is a promising electroactive polymer. As DE material, rubbers are often filled with functional particles to improve their electromechanical coupling performance. However, the filled particles also bring stress softening, which is known as Mullins effect. In this paper, we prepared the carbon nanotube filled silicone elastomer as dielectric elastomer composite, and used the pseudo-elastic theory to model its Mullins effect. Then the thermodynamics and pseudo-elastic theory were combined to predict the idealized electromechanical softening behavior. Two cases are considered: linear dielectric and saturated dielectric. For linear dielectric with an initial force, the voltage-controlled unloading remains "residual strain" after every cycle and reloading may eliminate instability. For saturated dielectric, we assume it is all linear before polarization saturation. After saturation, the material response changes a lot, which also affects the following softening behavior. At last, viscoelasticity was further incorporated to account for rate-dependent softening deformation, and we also carried out some simply electromechanical experiments on VHB 4910 to explore its softening behavior. This work may lead to a better understanding of the softening behavior in dielectric elastomers undergoing electromechanical coupling situations.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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