Research
Electrosensitive (ES) Materials
Nonlinear Electroelastic Deformations
Electrosensitive (ES) elastomers form a class of smart materials
whose mechanical properties can be changed rapidly by the
application of an electric field. These materials have attracted
considerable interest recently because of their potential for
providing relatively cheap and light replacements for mechanical
devices, such as actuators, and also for the development of
artificial muscles. In this project we are concerned with a
theoretical framework for the analysis of boundaryvalue problems
that underpin the applications of the associated electromechanical
interactions. We confine attention to the static situation and
summarize the governing equations for a solid material capable of
large electroelastic deformations. The general constitutive laws for
the Cauchy stress tensor and the electric field vectors for an
isotropic electroelastic material are developed in a compact form
following recent work by the authors. The equations are then
applied, in the case of an incompressible material, to the solution
of a number of representative boundaryvalue problems. Specifically,
we consider the influence of a radial electric field on the
azimuthal shear response of a thickwalled circular cylindrical
tube, the extension and inflation characteristics of the same tube
under either a radial or an axial electric field (or both fields
combined), and the effect of a radial field on the deformation of an
internally pressurized spherical shell.
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