Multiscale instabilities in soft heterogeneous dielectric elastomers

S. Rudykh, K. Bhattacharya, G. DeBotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The development of instabilities in soft heterogeneous dielectric elastomers is investigated. Motivated by experiments and possible applications, we use in our analysis the physically relevant referential electric field instead of electric displacement. In terms of this variable, a closed form solution is derived for the class of layered neo-Hookean dielectrics. A criterion for the onset of electromechanical multiscale instabilities for the layered composites with anisotropic phases is formulated. A general condition for the onset of the macroscopic instability in soft multiphase dielectrics is introduced. In the example of the layered dielectrics, the essential influence of the microstructure on the onset of instabilities is revealed. We found that: (1) macroscopic instabilities dominate at moderate volume fractions of the stiffer phase, (2) interface instabilities appear at small volume fractions of the stiffer phase and (3) instabilities of a finite scale, comparable to the microstructure size, occur at large volume fractions of the stiffer phase. The latest new type of instabilities does not appear in the purely mechanical case and dominates in the region of large volume fractions of the stiff phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20130618
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume470
Issue number2162
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Composites
  • Dielectric elastomer
  • Electroactive
  • Electroactive polymer
  • Instability
  • Microstructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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