Modeling and identification of the constitutive behaviour of magneto-rheological elastomers

Abstract : In this thesis, we study a class of “active materials” called Magnetorheological elastomers (MRE) which are ferromagnetic impregnated rubbers whose mechanical properties are altered by the application of external magnetic fields. With the purpose of characterizing the behavior of MREs up to large strains and high magnetic fields, this work brings a completely novel experimental, theoretical and numerical approach.The first part of this study focuses on an experimental investigation of MRE where multiple microstructures (isotropic and transversely isotropic materials) and multiple particles’ volume fraction are tested. A special sample geometry is designed in order to increase the uniformity of internal magnetic and mechanical fields measured during coupled-field experiments. The interfacial adhesion between the iron fillers and the silicone matrix is investigated and we show that when specimens are subjected to external magnetic fields, a silane primer treatment of the particles is needed to prevent debonding at the interface particle/matrix. Then, we present the magneto-mechanical testing setup that allows simultaneous 3D mechanical and magnetic measurements before discussing the results. Even if is found that instabilities are ubiquitous in MREs, lots of useful data are collected and will be used to compute the parameters proposed in the material model.The second part of the thesis is dedicated to the modeling of isotropic MREs. The continuum description proposed by Kankanala, Triantafyllidis and Danas (2004, 2012, 2014) to derive constitutive laws that account for finite strains is used and, in particular, the energetic approach (that requires an energy density function) is chosen. Multiple equivalent variational formulation alternatives (based on different choices of the independent magnetic variable used in the energy function: B, H or M) are given and implemented into 3D finite element (FEM) codes. Based on the use of FEM simulation in combination with least square optimization methods, the previously collected experimental data are fitted and all three energy functions ψB , ψH and ψM are computed. The obtained material model proves to have excellent predictive capabilities when compared to other experiments not used in the fitting process. The use of numerical tools is necessary to make sure that the calculated material parameters are not influenced by the shape of experimental specimens.The last part of this work details the numerical implementation of the different variational formulations. For each one of them, it is found that isoparametric elements are well suited to simulate coupled magneto-mechanical boundary value problems. We show that special care is needed when implementing variational formulations using the displacement vector and the magnetic vector potential as independent variables. Indeed, ensuring the uniqueness of the vector potential requires to numerically enforce the Coulomb gauge, which leads to numerical complications that are addressed in this thesis. Before describing the different patch tests that have been considered to validate the numerical codes, we show which are the valid boundary conditions for the magnetic vector potential and how to use the symmetry properties of a given boundary value problem to reduce its complexity and the computational resources needed to solve it.
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Jean-Pierre Voropaieff. Modeling and identification of the constitutive behaviour of magneto-rheological elastomers. Mechanics of the solides [physics.class-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLX051⟩. ⟨tel-01968073⟩

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