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A robust finite element framework for coupled computational electromechanics

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In this work, we present a novel finite element framework for the simulation of coupled static and dynamic electromechanical interactions in electro-active polymeric materials. To model the incompressible nature of EAPs, a two-field mixed displacement–pressure formulation which, unlike the commonly-used mixed three-field and F-bar formulations, is applicable for both nearly and fully incompressible materials, is employed. For the spatial discretisation, innovative quadratic Bézier triangular and tetrahedral elements are used. The governing equations for the coupled electromechanical problem are solved using a monolithic scheme; for elastodynamics simulations, a state-of-the-art implicit time integration is adapted. The accuracy and the computational efficiency of the proposed framework are demonstrated by studying several benchmark examples in computational electromechanics which include simulations of a spherical gripper in elastostatics and a dielectric pump in elastodynamics. 

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