PhD THESIS Experimental Characterization, Modeling and Simulation of Magneto-Rheological Elastomers

Abstract : In this thesis, we study a class of active materials named Magneto-Rheological Elastomers (MREs) with a main focus on their coupled magneto-mechanical response up to large strains and up to high magnetic fields. With the purpose of achieving a coupled characterization of MREs behavior for the design of haptic interface devices, this work encompasses experimental, theoretical and numerical developments. The first part of this work is dedicated to aspects pertaining to sample fabrication. Isotropic and magnetic field-cured MREs, composed of soft silicone rubber and micrometric carbonyl iron powder, are manufactured using a reliable and repeatable process. A special sample geometry is designed in order to obtain both homogeneous mechanical and magnetic fields during the coupled-field characterization. The interfacial adhesion between the iron fillers and the silicone matrix in MREs submitted to large deformations is investigated and a critical strain threshold is identified beyond which a primer treatment of the particles is needed to prevent debonding between the particles and the matrix. The second part of this thesis focuses on the coupled magneto-mechanical characterization of MREs and involves both theoretical and experimental developments. Based on the general theoretical framework for transversely isotropic magneto-elastic continua proposed by Kankanala, Danas and Triantafyllidis [Kan04, Dan12, Dan14], the coupled magneto-mechanical constitutive laws for both isotropic and anisotropic MREs are used to determine experimentally the corresponding constitutive model’s material parameters. The actual characterization of MREs is conducted thanks to a specially designed and novel experimental setup allowing tensile tests up to large strains and under high magnetic fields. The experimental data thus obtained provide the constitutive models for the isotropic and anisotropic MREs needed as input for the subsequent numerical simulations. The third part of this work pertains to the experiments, modeling and numerical calculations for boundary value problems corresponding to the design of a haptic interface prototype. A coupled variational formulation for a non-uniform applied magnetic field, using displacement, magnetic vector potential and magnetization as independent variables, is proposed and subsequently applied to the solution of the boundary value problem of an MRE layer subjected to the spatially localized magnetic field produced by an electromagnetic coil. The axisymmetric problem is solved numerically using finite element analysis. The device has been built and experimental results are compared to numerical simulations, thus providing a benchmark for the validation of the axisymmetric simulations as well as a proof of concept for the design of haptic interface applications.
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Tobias Pössinger. PhD THESIS Experimental Characterization, Modeling and Simulation of Magneto-Rheological Elastomers. Engineering Sciences [physics]. Ecole Polytechnique, 2015. English. ⟨tel-01228853⟩

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