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Keywords:

  • form finding;
  • inverse motion problem;
  • electroelasticity

SUMMARY

This work deals with inverse-motion-based form finding for electroelasticity. The inverse motion problem is formulated for the electroelastic case, and the resulting equations are implemented within a finite element framework. A four-field variational approach is adopted, taking into consideration the typically incompressible behavior of the elastomer materials commonly used in electromechanical applications. By means of numerical simulations, the inverse-motion-based form finding makes it possible to design the referential configuration so that a given set of loads and boundary conditions results in a prespecified deformed configuration. The computational finite element framework established in this work allows for such numerical simulations and testing and thereby the possibility to improve the design and accuracy in electroelastic applications such as grippers, sensors, and seals. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.