Recent advances in polymer technology together with the growing need of smaller and lighter electronic components and biomedical equipment led to the development of new applications of polymers at micro scale. However, unlike traditional materials (e.g., metal silicon), polymers exhibit a significant time dependency in their response to load (e.g., viscoelastic, hyperelastic). Therefore, predicting the behavior of such polymer components at small scale requires accurate simulations of the effects of creep and relaxation within the systems. The current study uses a mesh-free particle method (smoothed particle hydrodynamics) to predict time-dependent mechanical response of polymers. As a first step towards investigating the response of a polymer microstructure under load, we simulate the behavior of a slender polymer rod compressed and tangentially dragged against a smooth glass surface.
It is shown that although accurate prediction of polymer deformation cannot be achieved with a fully analytic model, a simplified generalized Kelvin model could calibrated to capture most of the characteristics of the fully numerical model. This cold be used for predicting the behavior under load of a passive subsystem of imbedded in a control algorithm to extend the measuring domain of a possible sensor or prevent potentially dangerous operating conditions.