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Electromechanical instability on dielectric polymer surface: Modeling and experiment

Harold S. Park's picture


We present a dynamic finite element formulation for dielectric elastomers that significantly alleviates the problem of volumetric locking that occurs due to the incompressible nature of the elastomers.  We accomplish this by modifying the Q1P0 formulation of Simo et al., and adapting it to the electromechanical coupling that occurs in dielectric elastomers.  We demonstrate that volumetric locking has a significant impact on the critical electric fields that are necessary to induce electromechanical instabilities such as creasing and cratering in dielectric elastomers, and that the locking effects are most severe in problems related to recent experiments that involve significant constraints upon the deformation of the elastomers.  We then compare the results using the new Q1P0 formulation to that obtained using standard 8-node linear and 27-node quadratic hexahedral elements to demonstrate the capability of the proposed approach.  Finally, direct comparison to the recent experimental work on the creasing instability on dielectric polymer surface by Wang et al. is presented.  The present formulation demonstrates good agreement to experiment for not only the critical electric field for the onset of the creasing instability, but also the experimentally observed average spacing between the creases.

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