A non-affine electro-viscoelastic microsphere model for dielectric elastomers: Application to VHB 4910 based actuators
Thylander, S. and Menzel, A. and Ristinmaa, M.
JOURNAL OF INTELLIGENT MATERIAL SYSTEMS AND STRUCTURES
Volume: 28 Pages: 627-639
Dielectric elastomers belong to a larger group of materials, the so-called electroactive polymers, which have the capability of transforming electric energy to mechanical energy through deformation. VHB 4910 is one of the most popular materials for applications of dielectric elastomers and therefore one of the most investigated. This paper includes a new micromechanically motivated constitutive model for dielectric elastomers that incorporates the nearly incompressible and viscous time-dependent behaviour often found in this type of material. A non-affine microsphere framework is used to transform the microscopic constitutive model to a macroscopic continuum counterpart. Furthermore the model is calibrated, through both homogeneous deformation examples and more complex finite element analysis, to VHB 4910. The model is able to capture both the purely elastic, the viscoelastic and the electro-viscoelastic properties of the elastomer and demonstrates the power and applicability of the electromechanically coupled microsphere framework. © SAGE Publications.