DOI: 10.3390/polym15173561 ISSN:

Simulation Analysis of Equibiaxial Tension Tests for Rubber-like Materials

Huaan Luo, Yinlong Zhu, Haifeng Zhao, Luqiang Ma, Jingjing Zhang
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Chemistry

For rubber-like materials, there are three popular methods of equibiaxial tension available: inflation tension, equibiaxial planar tension, and radial tension. However, no studies have addressed the accuracy and comparability of these tests. In this work, we model the tension tests for a hyperelastic electroactive polymer (EAP) membrane material using finite element method (FEM) and investigate their experimental accuracy. This study also analyzes the impact of apparatus structure parameters and specimen dimensions on experimental performances. Additionally, a tensile efficiency is proposed to assess non-uniform deformation in equibiaxial planar tension and radial tension tests. The sample points for calculating deformation in inflation tensions should be taken near the top of the inflated balloon to obtain a more accurate characteristic curve; the deformation simulation range will be constrained by the material model and its parameters within a specific limit (λ ≈ 1.9); if the inflation hole size is halved, the required air pressure must be doubled to maintain equivalent stress and strain values, resulting in a reduction in half in inflation height and decreased accuracy. The equibiaxial planar tension test can enhance uniform deformation and reduce stress errors to as low as 2.1% (at λ = 4) with single-corner-point tension. For circular diaphragm specimens in radial tension tests, increasing the number of cuts and using larger punched holes results in more uniform deformation and less stress error, with a minimum value of 3.83% achieved for a specimen with 24 cuts and a 5 mm punched hole. In terms of tensile efficiency, increasing the number of tensile points in the equibiaxial planar tension test can improve it; under radial tension, increasing the number of cuts and decreasing the diameter of the punched hole on the specimen has a hedging effect. The findings of this study are valuable for accurately evaluating various equibiaxial tension methods and analyzing their precision, as well as providing sound guidance for the effective design of testing apparatus and test plans.

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