Nonlinear electroelasticity: material properties, continuum theory and applications
Proceedings of the Royal Society A
In the last few years, it has been recognized that the large deformation capacity of elastomeric materials that are sensitive to electric fields can be harnessed for use in transducer devices such as actuators and sensors. This has led to the reassessment of the mathematical theory that is needed for the description of the electromechanical (in particular, electroelastic) interactions for purposes of material characterization and prediction. After a review of the key experiments concerned with
... etermining the nature of the electromechanical interactions and a discussion of the range of applications to devices, we provide a short account of the history of developments in the nonlinear theory. This is followed by a succinct modern treatment of electroelastic theory, including the governing equations and constitutive laws needed for both material characterization and the analysis of general electroelastic coupling problems. For illustration, the theory is then applied to two simple representative boundary-value problems that are relevant to the geometries of activation devices; in particular, (a) a rectangular plate and (b) a circular cylindrical tube, in each case with compliant electrodes on the major surfaces and a potential difference between them. In (a), an electric field is generated normal to the major surfaces and in (b), a radial electric field is present. This is followed by a short section in which other problems addressed on the basis of the general theory are described briefly.