Inflation and Instabilities of Hyperelastic Membranes

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: The applications of membranes are increasing rapidly in various fields of engineering and science. The geometric, material, force and contact non-linearities complicate their analysis, which increases the demand for computationally efficient methods and interpretation of counter-intuitive behaviours.The first part of the present work studies the free and constrained inflation of circular and cylindrical membranes. The membranes are assumed to be in contact with a soft substrate, modelled as a linear spring distribution.Adhesive and frictionless contact conditions are considered during inflation,while only adhesive contact conditions are considered during deflation. For a circular membrane, peeling of the membrane during deflation is studied, and a numerical formulation of the energy release rate is proposed.The second part of the thesis discusses the instabilities observed for fluid containing cylindrical membranes. Limit points and bifurcation points are observed on primary equilibrium branches. The secondary branches emerge from bifurcation points, with their directions determined by eigenvectors corresponding to zero eigenvalues at the bifurcation point. Symmetry has major implications on stability analysis of the structures, and the relationship between eigenvalue analysis and symmetry is highlighted in this part of the thesis.In the third part, wrinkling in the pressurized membranes is investigated,and robustness of the modified membrane theory and tension field theory is examined. The effect of boundary conditions, thickness variations, and inflating media on the wrinkling is investigated. It is observed that, with a relaxed strain energy formulation, the obtained equilibrium solutions are unstable due to the occurrence of pressure induced instabilities. A detailed analysis of pressure induced instabilities in the wrinkled membranes is described in the thesis.