Dynamic stiffness and damping prediction on rubber material parts, FEA and experimental correlation

Kareaga Laka, Zorion (2016) Dynamic stiffness and damping prediction on rubber material parts, FEA and experimental correlation. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


The final objective of the present work is the accurate prediction of the dynamic stiffness behaviour of complex rubber parts using finite element simulation tools. For this purpose, it becomes necessary to perform a complex rubber compound material characterisation and modelling work; this needs two important previous steps. These steps are detailed in the present document together with a theoretical review of viscoelastic visco-elasto-plastic models for elastomers.

Firstly, a new characterisation method is proposed to determine the degree of cure of rubber parts. It is known that the degree of cure of rubbers bears heavily on their mechanical properties. This method consists of the correlation of swelling results to rheometer data achieving a good agreement.

Secondly, the influence of the strain rate used in static characterisation tests is studied. In this step, a new characterisation method is proposed. The latter characterisation method will be used to fit extended hyperelastic models in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software like ANSYS. The proposed method improves the correlation of experimental data to simulation results obtained by the use of standard methods.

Finally, the overlay method proposed by Austrell concerning frequency dependence of the dynamic modulus and loss angle that is known to increase more with frequency for small amplitudes than for large amplitudes is developed. The original version of the overlay method yields no difference in frequency dependence with respect to different load amplitudes. However, if the element in the viscoelastic layer of the finite element model are given different stiffness and loss properties depending on the loading amplitude level, frequency dependence is shown to be more accurate compared to experiments. The commercial finite element program Ansys is used to model an industrial metal rubber part using two layers of elements. One layer is a hyper viscoelastic layer and the other layer uses an elasto-plastic model with a multi-linear kinematic hardening rule. The model, being intended for stationary cyclic loading, shows good agreement with measurements on the harmonically loaded industrial rubber part.

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