Markus Mehnert, M. Sc.

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Institute of Applied Mechanics (Prof. Dr. Steinmann)

Room: Room 00.012
Egerlandstraße 5
91058 Erlangen

Modelling and simulation of nonlinear electro-thermo-visco-elastic EAPs(Electronic Electro-Active Polymers)

(Third Party Funds Single)

Project leader:
Start date: 1. January 2014
Funding source: DFG-Einzelförderung / Sachbeihilfe (EIN-SBH)


The numerical modeling and simulation of the behavior of EEAPs (Electronic Electro-Active Polymers) under electric loading is considered in this proposal. Despite the fact that efforts have been made to simulate the behavior of EEAPs, work still needs to be done to model the electro-thermo-mechanical interaction in a body undergoing large deformation and being subjected to the influence of the free space surrounding the material body. First of all, until now there exists no thermo-dynamically consistent model that at the same time accounts for large deformations, nonlinear electric polarization, visco-elasticity and the temperature-dependent electro-mechanical properties of EEAPs. At the moment, there exists no software that is capable of simulating these effects simultaneously. In addition, almost all works in the literature related to EEAPs did not consider the effect of the free space surrounding a body of interest and as a consequence can only be used in the case of simulating condensator-like structures whose thickness is very small in comparison with other dimensions. In this proposal, the behavior of EEAPs will be modeled using the theory of electro-thermo-visco-elasticity and will be simulated by using the finite element method (FEM) coupled with the boundary element method (BEM). The FEM will be used to model the material body and the BEM will be used to model the surrounding free space. Besides the numerical simulation of the electro-thermo-mechanical interaction in EEAPs, the numerical evaluation of material forces in structures with defects made of EEAPs, taking into account the electro-thermo-visco-elastic effect, is also considered. These forces can be used, for example, in the prediction of the propagation of cracks, which can take place in EEAP-based structures under electric loads.