Abstract

Piezoelectric materials exhibit nonlinear behavior when subjected to large electric fields. This strong nonlinear material behavior is induced by polarization switching (i.e., change of the polarization direction). In this paper, a nonlinear finite element code for a coupled electro-mechanical problem is presented to model polarization switchings. An isoparametric plane strain four-node element with nodal displacements and voltage as degrees of freedom is used to approximate the geometry. The element incorporates two types of polarization switching: 90° and 180°, where electric flux is used as a switching criterion. Three cases are studied in this paper: a partially electroded specimen simulating 180° polarization switching, a fully electroded specimen simulating 90° switching and a plate containing a void. The analytical results are compared with experimental data obtained from a Moiré interferometer. Comparison between experimental data and theoretical results indicates reasonable agreement between the two suggesting that the correct physics is incorporated in the analytical model.

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