Owing to the increasing number of industrial applications of electro-active polymers (EAPs), there is a growing need for electromechanical models which accurately capture their behaviour. To this end, we compare the predicted behaviour of EAPs undergoing homogeneous deformations according to three electromechanical models. The first model is a phenomenological continuum-based model composed of the mechanical Gent model and a linear relationship between the electric field and the polarization. The electrical and the mechanical responses according to the second model are based on the physical structure of the polymer chain network. The third model incorporates a neo-Hookean mechanical response and a physically motivated microstructurally based long-chains model for the electrical behaviour. In the microstructural-motivated models, the integration from the microscopic to the macroscopic levels is accomplished by the micro-sphere technique. Four types of homogeneous boundary conditions are considered and the behaviours determined according to the three models are compared. For the microstructurally motivated models, these analyses are performed and compared with the widely used phenomenological model for the first time. Some of the aspects revealed in this investigation, such as the dependence of the intensity of the polarization field on the deformation, highlight the need for an in-depth investigation of the relationships between the structure and the behaviours of the EAPs at the microscopic level and their overall macroscopic response.
- Received July 5, 2015.
- Accepted January 25, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.