Finite deformations of an electroelastic circular cylindrical tube

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Melnikov, Andrey ; Ogden, Ray W. (2016)

In this paper the theory of nonlinear electroelasticity is used to examine deformations of a pressurized thick-walled circular cylindrical tube of soft dielectric material with closed ends and compliant electrodes on its curved boundaries. Expressions for the dependence of the pressure and reduced axial load on the deformation and a potential difference between, or uniform surface charge distributions on, the electrodes are obtained in respect of a general isotropic electroelastic energy function. To illustrate the behaviour of the tube, specific forms of energy functions accounting for different mechanical properties coupled with a deformation independent quadratic dependence on the electric field are used for numerical purposes, for a given potential difference and separately for a given charge distribution. Numerical dependences of the non-dimensional pressure and reduced axial load on the deformation are obtained for the considered energy functions. Results are then given for the thin-walled approximation as a limiting case of a thick-walled cylindrical tube without restriction on the energy function. The theory described herein provides a general basis for the detailed analysis of the electroelastic response of tubular dielectric elastomer actuators, which is illustrated for a fixed axial load in the absence of internal pressure and fixed internal pressure in the absence of an applied axial load.
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