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Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 19141

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Institute of Textile Machinery and High Performance Material Technology, Technische Universitat Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Interests: fibers and polymers; smart textiles and structures; biotextiles; composite materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to their high intrinsic deformation capacity, the application of interactive fiber rubber composites (I-FRC) has become a promising approach to generate controllably deformable components with specifically adjustable properties. The goal is to generate an innovative class of intelligent materials, i.e., fiber-reinforced composite materials that include structurally integrated actuator and sensor networks. This aims at the simulation-based development of smart material combinations to create so-called self-sufficient fiber rubber composites. For this purpose, actuators (e.g., shape memory alloys, dielectrical elastomer actuators) and sensors (e.g., metal-coated yarns, hybrid yarns) are directly—rather than subsequently—integrated into these structures during fabric manufacturing processes, such as weaving or multi-axial knitting. Hence, these systems are more robust, and even complex deformation patterns can be specifically adjusted, whereas the corresponding changes are implemented in a reversible and contactless manner.

FRC can respond to changes in their environment (e.g., temperature and magnetic fields) and ensure precise as well as long-term stable functionalities by means of regulation and control circuits that are based on and linked to sensorial condition monitoring. However, these functionalities require innovative component designs and cross-scale modeling, simulation, and integration into system conceptions, experimental research, and material developments. These I-FRC are a new class of materials offering new properties. For example, the development of I-FRC allows for the reversible and contactless adjustment of geometric degrees of deformation for mechanical components; thus, various environmental requirements can be met in a quick and precise manner. This advantage makes them suitable for numerous fields of application, such as in mechanical engineering, vehicle construction, robotics, architecture, orthotics, and prosthetics. Potential applications include their use in systems for precise gripping and transportation processes, such as hand prostheses, automated lids, seals, shapeable membranes, and adaptive flaps for rotor blades of wind turbines as well as trim tabs for ground- and watercraft to effectively reduce flow separation.

Given the significance of the material class offered by I-FRC, this Special Issue aims to publish peer-reviewed and open access papers advancing the body of knowledge in this important area of material research, including applications. The topics sought include, but are not limited to:

  • Material development
  •  Cross-scale modeling and simulation
  •  Open- and closed-loop control systems
  •  System development and in situ characterization

Prof. Dr. Chokri Cherif
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • textile
  • rubber
  • modeling
  • simulation
  • actuator network
  • smart structures
  • smart materials

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 2724 KiB  
Article
Suitability of Different Analytical Derivations of Electrically Induced Stress States in Planar and Cylindrical Dielectric Elastomer Actuators
by Sascha Pfeil and Gerald Gerlach
Materials 2022, 15(4), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15041321 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
Dielectric elastomers (DE) belong to a very performant and efficient class of functional materials for actuators, while being compliant, low-weight and silent, they offer high energy efficiencies and large deformations under an applied electric field. In this work, a comparison of different approaches [...] Read more.
Dielectric elastomers (DE) belong to a very performant and efficient class of functional materials for actuators, while being compliant, low-weight and silent, they offer high energy efficiencies and large deformations under an applied electric field. In this work, a comparison of different approaches to derive expressions for the electrically induced stress states in dielectric materials is given. In particular, the focus is on three different ways to analytically describe stress states in planar actuator setups and to show how they are connected to each other regarding their resulting deformations. This is the basis to evaluate the suitability of these approaches for cylindrical actuator geometries together with exemplary calculations for concrete use cases. As an outcome, conclusions on the suitability of the different approaches for certain actuator setups are drawn. In particular cylindrical actuator geometries are taken into account and a recommendation on which approach is useful to describe a certain actuator effect is given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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14 pages, 2198 KiB  
Article
Thermo-Electro-Mechanical Simulation of Electro-Active Composites
by Anas Kanan, Aleksandr Vasilev, Cornelia Breitkopf and Michael Kaliske
Materials 2022, 15(3), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15030783 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1473
Abstract
In this contribution, a computational thermo-electro-mechanical framework is considered, to simulate coupling between the mechanical, electrical and thermal fields, in nonhomogeneous electro-active materials. A thermo-electro-mechanical material model and a mixed Q1P0 finite element framework are described and used for the simulations. Finite element [...] Read more.
In this contribution, a computational thermo-electro-mechanical framework is considered, to simulate coupling between the mechanical, electrical and thermal fields, in nonhomogeneous electro-active materials. A thermo-electro-mechanical material model and a mixed Q1P0 finite element framework are described and used for the simulations. Finite element simulations of the response of heterogeneous structures consisting of a soft matrix and a stiff incluison are considered. The behavior of the composite material is studied for varying initial temperatures, different volume fractions and various aspect ratios of the inclusion. For some of the examples, the response of the structure beyond a limit point of electro-mechanical instability is traced. Regarding the soft matrix of the composite, thermal properties of silicone rubber at normal conditions have been obtained by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The material parameters obtained by MD simulations are used within the finite element simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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23 pages, 7749 KiB  
Article
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Deformation Behavior of Adaptive Fiber-Rubber Composites with Integrated Shape Memory Alloys
by Felix Lohse, Karl Kopelmann, Henriette Grellmann, Moniruddoza Ashir, Thomas Gereke, Eric Häntzsche, Cornelia Sennewald and Chokri Cherif
Materials 2022, 15(2), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15020582 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
Fiber-reinforced rubber composites with integrated shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator wires present a promising approach for the creation of soft and highly elastic structures with adaptive functionalities for usage in aerospace, robotic, or biomedical applications. In this work, the flat-knitting technology is used [...] Read more.
Fiber-reinforced rubber composites with integrated shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator wires present a promising approach for the creation of soft and highly elastic structures with adaptive functionalities for usage in aerospace, robotic, or biomedical applications. In this work, the flat-knitting technology is used to develop glass-fiber-reinforced fabrics with tailored properties designed for active bending deformations. During the knitting process, the SMA wires are integrated into the textile and positioned with respect to their actuation task. Then, the fabrics are infiltrated with liquid silicone, thus creating actively deformable composites. For dimensioning such structures, a comprehensive understanding of the interactions of all components is required. Therefore, a simulation model is developed that captures the properties of the rubber matrix, fiber reinforcement, and the SMA actuators and that is capable of simulating the active bending deformations of the specimens. After model calibration with experimental four-point-bending data, the SMA-driven bending deformation is simulated. The model is validated with activation experiments of the actively deformable specimens. The simulation results show good agreement with the experimental tests, thus enabling further investigations into the deformation mechanisms of actively deformable fiber-reinforced rubbers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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12 pages, 4541 KiB  
Article
Integrated Temperature and Position Sensors in a Shape-Memory Driven Soft Actuator for Closed-Loop Control
by Johannes Mersch, Najmeh Keshtkar, Henriette Grellmann, Carlos Alberto Gomez Cuaran, Mathis Bruns, Andreas Nocke, Chokri Cherif, Klaus Röbenack and Gerald Gerlach
Materials 2022, 15(2), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15020520 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
Soft actuators are a promising option for the advancing fields of human-machine interaction and dexterous robots in complex environments. Shape memory alloy wire actuators can be integrated into fiber rubber composites for highly deformable structures. For autonomous, closed-loop control of such systems, additional [...] Read more.
Soft actuators are a promising option for the advancing fields of human-machine interaction and dexterous robots in complex environments. Shape memory alloy wire actuators can be integrated into fiber rubber composites for highly deformable structures. For autonomous, closed-loop control of such systems, additional integrated sensors are necessary. In this work, a soft actuator is presented that incorporates fiber-based actuators and sensors to monitor both deformation and temperature. The soft actuator showed considerable deformation around two solid body joints, which was then compared to the sensor signals, and their correlation was analyzed. Both, the actuator as well as the sensor materials were processed by braiding and tailored fiber placement before molding with silicone rubber. Finally, the novel fiber-rubber composite material was used to implement closed-loop control of the actuator with a maximum error of 0.5°. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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14 pages, 3542 KiB  
Article
Development of Liquid Diene Rubber Based Highly Deformable Interactive Fiber-Elastomer Composites
by Vikram G. Kamble, Johannes Mersch, Muhammad Tahir, Klaus Werner Stöckelhuber, Amit Das and Sven Wießner
Materials 2022, 15(1), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15010390 - 5 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2268
Abstract
The preparation of intelligent structures for multiple smart applications such as soft-robotics, artificial limbs, etc., is a rapidly evolving research topic. In the present work, the preparation of a functional fabric, and its integration into a soft elastomeric matrix to develop an adaptive [...] Read more.
The preparation of intelligent structures for multiple smart applications such as soft-robotics, artificial limbs, etc., is a rapidly evolving research topic. In the present work, the preparation of a functional fabric, and its integration into a soft elastomeric matrix to develop an adaptive fiber-elastomer composite structure, is presented. Functional fabric, with the implementation of the shape memory effect, was combined with liquid polybutadiene rubber by means of a low-temperature vulcanization process. A detailed investigation on the crosslinking behavior of liquid polybutadiene rubber was performed to develop a rubber formulation that is capable of crosslinking liquid rubber at 75 °C, a temperature that is much lower than the phase transformation temperature of SMA wires (90–110 °C). By utilizing the unique low-temperature crosslinking protocol for liquid polybutadiene rubber, soft intelligent structures containing functional fabric were developed. The adaptive structures were successfully activated by Joule heating. The deformation behavior of the smart structures was experimentally demonstrated by reaching a 120 mm bending distance at an activation voltage of 8 V without an additional load, whereas 90 mm, 70 mm, 65 mm, 57 mm bending distances were achieved with attached weights of 5 g, 10 g, 20 g, 30 g, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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14 pages, 2846 KiB  
Article
Thermo-Electro-Mechanical Characterization of PDMS-Based Dielectric Elastomer Actuators
by Konrad Katzer, Anas Kanan, Sascha Pfeil, Henriette Grellmann, Gerald Gerlach, Michael Kaliske, Chokri Cherif and Martina Zimmermann
Materials 2022, 15(1), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15010221 - 28 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1801
Abstract
The present contribution aims towards a thermo-electro-mechanical characterization of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). To this end, an experimental setup is proposed in order to evaluate the PDMS-based DEA behavior under the influence of various rates of mechanical loading, different [...] Read more.
The present contribution aims towards a thermo-electro-mechanical characterization of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). To this end, an experimental setup is proposed in order to evaluate the PDMS-based DEA behavior under the influence of various rates of mechanical loading, different ambient temperatures, and varying values of an applied electric voltage. To obtain mechanical, electro-mechanical and thermo-mechanical experimental data, the passive behavior of the material, as well as the material’s response when electrically activated, was tested. The influence of the solid electrode on the dielectric layer’s surface was also examined. Moreover, this work focuses on the production of such DEA, the experimental setup and the interpretation and evaluation of the obtained mechanical hysteresis loops. Finite element modeling approaches were used in order to model the passive and the electro-mechanically active response of the material. A comparison between experimental and simulation results was performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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10 pages, 20065 KiB  
Article
Thermal Conductivity of Polybutadiene Rubber from Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Measurements by the Heat Flow Meter Method
by Aleksandr Vasilev, Tommy Lorenz, Vikram G Kamble, Sven Wießner and Cornelia Breitkopf
Materials 2021, 14(24), 7737; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14247737 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1844
Abstract
Thermal conductivities of polybutadiene rubbers crosslinked by 2.4 and 2.8 phr of sulfur have been found to be functions of temperature via molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using the Green–Kubo method. From an analysis of the heat flux autocorrelation functions, it has been revealed [...] Read more.
Thermal conductivities of polybutadiene rubbers crosslinked by 2.4 and 2.8 phr of sulfur have been found to be functions of temperature via molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using the Green–Kubo method. From an analysis of the heat flux autocorrelation functions, it has been revealed that the dominant means of heat transport in rubbers is governed by deformations of polymeric chains. Thermal conductivities of rubber samples vulcanized by 2.4 and 2.8 phr of sulfur have been measured by the heat flow meter method between 0 C and 60 C at atmospheric pressure. The temperature dependencies of the thermal conductivities of rubbers and their glass transition temperatures derived from MD simulations are in good agreement with the literature and experimental data. Details are discussed in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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11 pages, 2481 KiB  
Article
Development of an Elastic, Electrically Conductive Coating for TPU Filaments
by Henriette Grellmann, Mathis Bruns, Felix Michael Lohse, Iris Kruppke, Andreas Nocke and Chokri Cherif
Materials 2021, 14(23), 7158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14237158 - 24 Nov 2021
Viewed by 2125
Abstract
Electrically conductive filaments are used in a wide variety of applications, for example, in smart textiles and soft robotics. Filaments that conduct electricity are required for the transmission of energy and information, but up until now, most electrically conductive fibers, filaments and wires [...] Read more.
Electrically conductive filaments are used in a wide variety of applications, for example, in smart textiles and soft robotics. Filaments that conduct electricity are required for the transmission of energy and information, but up until now, most electrically conductive fibers, filaments and wires offer low mechanical elongation. Therefore, they are not well suited for the implementation into elastomeric composites and textiles that are worn close to the human body and have to follow a wide range of movements. In order to overcome this issue, the presented study aims at the development of electrically conductive and elastic filaments based on a coating process suited for multifilament yarns made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The coating solution contains TPU, carbon nanotubes (CNT) and N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) with varied concentrations of solids and electrically conductive particles. After applying the coating to TPU multifilament yarns, the mechanical and electrical properties are analyzed. A special focus is given to the electromechanical behavior of the coated yarns under mechanical strain loading. It is determined that the electrical conductivity is maintained even at elongations of up to 100%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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17 pages, 1095 KiB  
Article
Field-Induced Transversely Isotropic Shear Response of Ellipsoidal Magnetoactive Elastomers
by Sanket Chougale, Dirk Romeis and Marina Saphiannikova
Materials 2021, 14(14), 3958; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14143958 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2282
Abstract
Magnetoactive elastomers (MAEs) claim a vital place in the class of field-controllable materials due to their tunable stiffness and the ability to change their macroscopic shape in the presence of an external magnetic field. In the present work, three principal geometries of shear [...] Read more.
Magnetoactive elastomers (MAEs) claim a vital place in the class of field-controllable materials due to their tunable stiffness and the ability to change their macroscopic shape in the presence of an external magnetic field. In the present work, three principal geometries of shear deformation were investigated with respect to the applied magnetic field. The physical model that considers dipole-dipole interactions between magnetized particles was used to study the stress-strain behavior of ellipsoidal MAEs. The magneto-rheological effect for different shapes of the MAE sample ranging from disc-like (highly oblate) to rod-like (highly prolate) samples was investigated along and transverse to the field direction. The rotation of the MAE during the shear deformation leads to a non-symmetric Cauchy stress tensor due to a field-induced magnetic torque. We show that the external magnetic field induces a mechanical anisotropy along the field direction by determining the distinct magneto-mechanical behavior of MAEs with respect to the orientation of the magnetic field to shear deformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites)
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