Modelling of the Fletcher-Gent effect and obtaining hyperelastic parameters for filled elastomers
Abstract: The strain amplitude dependency , i.e. the Fletcher-Gent effect and Payne effect, and the strain rate dependency of rubber with reinforcing fillers is modelled using a modified boundary surface model and implemented uniaxially. In this thesis, a split of strain instead of stress is utilized, and the storage and loss modulus are captured over two decades of both strain amplitudes and frequencies. In addition, experimental results from bimodal excitation are replicated well, even though material parameters were obtained solely from harmonic excitation. These results are encouraging since the superposition principle is not valid for filled rubber, and real-life operational conditions in general contain several harmonics. This means that formulating constitutive equations in the frequency domain is a cumbersome task, and therefore the derived model is implemented in the time domain. Filled rubber is used irreplaceable in several engineering solutions, such as tires, bushings, vibrations isolators, seals and tread belts, to name just a few. In certain applications, it is sufficient to model the elastic properties of a component during finite strains. However, Hooke’s law is inadequate for this task. Instead, hyperelastic material models are used. Finally, the thesis presents a methodology for obtaining the required material parameters utilizing experiments in pure shear, uniaxial tension and the inflation of a rubber membrane. It is argued that the unloading curve rather than the loading curve is more suitable for obtaining these parameters, even at very low strain rates.
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