Nonlinear Analysis of Elastomeric Keyboard Domes

[+] Author and Article Information
John H. Lau, Albert H. Jeans

Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Palo Alto, CA 94304

J. Appl. Mech 56(4), 751-755 (Dec 01, 1989) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3176168 History: Received August 19, 1988; Revised February 13, 1989; Online July 21, 2009


The large deflection of an elastomeric dome is studied using the finite element method. The material properties of the elastomer are described by a hyperelastic model in order to capture the strain energy stored in the dome during deformation. The nonlinear responses are determined by the modified Riks procedure, and the calculated load-deflection curve agrees well with experimental results. In addition, a pressurized thick-walled spherical hyperelastic shell is analyzed and the stress results obtained by the finite element method are in excellent agreement with the closed-form solutions. The results provide a better understanding of the mechanical behavior of elastomeric keyboard domes and demonstrate the feasibility of using the finite element method to design such structures.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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