Wrinkles in soft dielectric plates
Conroy Broderick, Hannah
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Su, Yipin, Conroy Broderick, Hannah, Chen, Weiqiu, & Destrade, Michel. (2018). Wrinkles in soft dielectric plates. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 119, 298-318. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmps.2018.07.001
We show that a smooth giant voltage actuation of soft dielectric plates is not easily obtained in practice. In principle one can exploit, through pre-deformation, the snap-through behavior of their loading curve to deliver a large stretch prior to electric breakdown. However, we demonstrate here that even in this favorable scenario, the soft dielectric is likely to first encounter the plate wrinkling phenomenon, as modeled by the onset of small amplitude sinusoidal perturbations on its faces. We provide an explicit treatment of this incremental boundary value problem. We also derive closed-form expressions for the two limit cases of very thin membranes (with vanishing thickness) and of thick plates (with thickness comparable to or greater than the wavelength of the perturbation). We treat explicitly examples of ideal dielectric free energy functions (where the mechanical part is of the neo-Hookean, Mooney-Rivlin or Gent form) and of dielectrics exhibiting polarization saturation. In addition to the expected buckling mode coming from the purely elastic case, we discover a second mode occurring at large voltages in extension. We find that plates always wrinkle anti-symmetrically, before the symmetric modes can be reached. Finally, we make the link with the classical results of the Hessian electro-mechanical instability criterion and of Euler buckling for an elastic column. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.