Abstract

This paper puts forth an approximate yet accurate free energy for the elastic dielectric response—under finite deformations and finite electric fields—of non-percolative dielectric elastomer composites made out of a non-Gaussian dielectric elastomer matrix with deformation-dependent apparent permittivity isotropically filled with nonlinear elastic dielectric particles that may exhibit polarization saturation. While the proposed free energy applies in its most general form to arbitrary isotropic non-percolative microstructures, closed-form specializations are recorded for the practically relevant cases of rigid or liquid-like spherical particles. The proposed free energy is exact by construction in the asymptotic context of small deformations and moderate electric fields and is shown to remain accurate for arbitrary large deformations and electric fields via comparisons with full-field finite-element simulations. The proposed constitutive model is deployed to probe the electrostriction response of these dielectric elastomer composites and corresponding results reveal that their elastic dielectric response strongly depends on the deformation-dependent apparent permittivity of the matrix they comprise.

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