Stability analysis of charge-controlled soft dielectric plates
Broderick, Hannah Conroy
Ogden, Ray W.
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Conroy Broderick, Hannah, Righi, Michele, Destrade, Michel, & Ogden, Ray W. (2020). Stability analysis of charge-controlled soft dielectric plates. International Journal of Engineering Science, 151, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijengsci.2020.103280
We examine the stability of a soft dielectric plate deformed by the coupled effects of a mechanical pre-stress applied on its lateral faces and an electric field applied through its thickness under charge control. The electric field is created by spraying charges on the major faces of the plate: although in practice this mode of actuation is harder to achieve than a voltage-driven deformation, here we find that it turns out to be much more stable in theory and in simulations.First we show that the electromechanical instability based on the Hessian criterion associated with the free energy of the system does not occur at all for charge-driven dielectrics for which the electric displacement is linear in the electric field. Then we show that the geometric instability associated with the formation of small-amplitude wrinkles on the faces of the plate that arises under voltage control does not occur either under charge control. This is in complete contrast to voltage-control actuation, where Hessian and wrinkling instabilities can occur once certain critical voltages are reached.For the mechanical pre-stresses, two modes that can be implemented in practice are used: equi-biaxial and uni-axial. We confirm the analytical and numerical stability results of homogeneous deformation modes with Finite Element simulations of real actuations, where inhomogeneous fields may develop. We find complete agreement in the equi-biaxial case, and very close agreement in the uni-axial case, when the pre-stress is due to a dead-load weight. In the latter case, the simulations show that small inhomogeneous effects develop near the clamps, and eventually a compressive lateral stress emerges, leading to a breakdown of the numerics. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.