This thesis investigates the electromechanic coupling of dielectric elastomers for the static and dynamic case by numerical simulations. To this end, the fundamental equations of the coupled field problem are introduced and the discretisation procedure for the numerical implementation is described. Furthermore, a three field formulation is proposed and implemented to treat the nearly incompressible behaviour of the elastomer. Because of the reduced electric permittivity of the material, very high electric fields are required for actuation purposes. To improve the electromechanic coupling a heterogeneous microstructure consisting of an elastomer matrix with barium titanate inclusions is proposed and studied.
This work presents a framework for the computation of complex geometries containing intersections of multiple patches with Reissner-Mindlin shell elements. The main objective is to provide an isogeometric finite element implementation which neither requires drilling rotation stabilization, nor user interaction to quantify the number of rotational degrees of freedom for every node. For this purpose, the following set of methods is presented. Control points with corresponding physical location are assigned to one common node for the finite element solution. A nodal basis system in every control point is defined, which ensures an exact interpolation of the director vector throughout the whole domain. A distinction criterion for the automatic quantification of rotational degrees of freedom for every node is presented. An isogeometric Reissner-Mindlin shell formulation is enhanced to handle geometries with kinks and allowing for arbitrary intersections of patches. The parametrization of adjacent patches along the interface has to be conforming. The shell formulation is derived from the continuum theory and uses a rotational update scheme for the current director vector. The nonlinear kinematic allows the computation of large deformations and large rotations. Two concepts for the description of rotations are presented. The first one uses an interpolation which is commonly used in standard Lagrange-based shell element formulations. The second scheme uses a more elaborate concept proposed by the authors in prior work, which increases the accuracy for arbitrary curved geometries. Numerical examples show the high accuracy and robustness of both concepts. The applicability of the proposed framework is demonstrated.
An isogeometric Reissner-Mindlin shell derived from the continuum theory is presented. The geometry is described by NURBS surfaces. The kinematic description of the employed shell theory requires the interpolation of the director vector and of a local basis system. Hence, the definition of nodal basis systems at the control points is necessary for the proposed formulation. The control points are in general not located on the shell reference surface and thus, several choices for the nodal values are possible. The proposed new method uses the higher continuity of the geometrical description to calculate nodal basis system and director vectors which lead to geometrical exact interpolated values thereof. Thus, the initial director vector coincides with the normal vector even for the coarsest mesh. In addition to that a more accurate interpolation of the current director and its variation is proposed. Instead of the interpolation of nodal director vectors the new approach interpolates nodal rotations. Account is taken for the discrepancy between interpolated basis systems and the individual nodal basis systems with an additional transformation. The exact evaluation of the initial director vector along with the interpolation of the nodal rotations lead to a shell formulation which yields precise results even for coarse meshes. The convergence behavior is shown to be correct for k-refinement allowing the use of coarse meshes with high orders of NURBS basis functions. This is potentially advantageous for applications with high numerical effort per integration point. The geometrically nonlinear formulation accounts for large rotations. The consistent tangent matrix is derived. Various standard benchmark examples show the superior accuracy of the presented shell formulation. A new benchmark designed to test the convergence behavior for free form surfaces is presented. Despite the higher numerical effort per integration point the improved accuracy yields considerable savings in computation cost for a predefined error bound.
In this contribution a mortar-type method for the coupling of non-conforming NURBS surface patches is proposed. The connection of non-conforming patches with shared degrees of freedom requires mutual refinement, which propagates throughout the whole patch due to the tensor-product structure of NURBS surfaces. Thus, methods to handle non-conforming meshes are essential in NURBS-based isogeometric analysis. The main objective of this work is to provide a simple and efficient way to couple the individual patches of complex geometrical models without altering the variational formulation. The deformations of the interface control points of adjacent patches are interrelated with a master-slave relation. This relation is established numerically using the weak form of the equality of mutual deformations along the interface. With the help of this relation the interface degrees of freedom of the slave patch can be condensated out of the system. A natural connection of the patches is attained without additional terms in the weak form. The proposed method is also applicable for nonlinear computations without further measures. Linear and geometrical nonlinear examples show the high accuracy and robustness of the new method. A comparison to reference results and to computations with the Lagrange multiplier method is given.
This thesis is concerned with a phase field model for martensitic transformations in metastable austenitic steels. Within the phase field approach an order parameter is introduced to indicate whether the present phase is austenite or martensite. The evolving microstructure is described by the evolution of the order parameter, which is assumed to follow the time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau equation. The elastic phase field model is enhanced in two different ways to take further phenomena into account. First, dislocation movement is considered by a crystal plasticity setting. Second, the elastic model for martensitic transformations is combined with a phase field model for fracture. Finite element simulations are used to study the single effects separately which contribute to the microstructure formation.
The mechanical properties of semi-crystalline polymers depend extremely on their
morphology, which is dependent on the crystallization during processing. The aim of
this research is to determine the effect of various nanoparticles on morphology
formation and tensile mechanical properties of polypropylene under conditions
relevant in polymer processing and to contribute ultimately to the understanding of
Based on the thermal analyses of samples during fast cooling, it is found that the
presence of nanoparticle enhances the overall crystallization process of PP. The results
suggest that an increase of the nucleation density/rate is a dominant process that
controls the crystallization process of PP in this work, which can help to reduce the
cycle time in the injection process. Moreover, the analysis of melting behaviors
obtained after each undercooling reveals that crystal perfection increases significantly
with the incorporation of TiO2 nanoparticles, while it is not influenced by the SiO2
This work also comprises an analysis of the influence of nanoparticles on the
microstructure of injection-molded parts. The results clearly show multi-layers along
the wall thickness. The spherulite size and the degree of crystallinity continuously
decrease from the center to the edge. Generally both the spherulite size and the degree
of crystallinity decrease with higher the SiO2 loading. In contrast, an increase in the
degree of crystallinity with an increasing TiO2 nanoparticle loading was detected.
The tensile properties exhibit a tendency to increase in the tensile strength as the core
is reached. The tensile strength decreases with the addition of nanoparticles, while the
elongation at break of nanoparticle-filled PP decreases from the skin to the core. With
increasing TiO2 loading, the elongation at break decreases.
Thermoplastic composite materials are being widely used in the automotive and aerospace industries. Due to the limitations of shape complexity, different components
need to be joined. They can be joined by mechanical fasteners, adhesive bonding or
both. However, these methods have several limitations. Components can be joined
by fusion bonding due to the property of thermoplastics. Thermoplastics can be melted on heating and regain their shape on cooling. This property makes them ideal for
joining through fusion bonding by induction heating. Joining of non-conducting or
non-magnetic thermoplastic composites needs an additional material that can generate heat by induction heating.
Polymers are neither conductive nor electromagnetic so they don’t have inherent potential for inductive heating. A susceptor sheet having conductive materials (e.g. carbon fiber) or magnetic materials (e.g. nickel) can generate heat during induction. The
main issues related with induction heating are non-homogeneous and uncontrolled
In this work, it was observed that to generate heat with a susceptor sheet depends
on its filler, its concentration, and its dispersion. It also depends on the coil, magnetic
field strength and coupling distance. The combination of different fillers not only increased the heating rate but also changed the heating mechanism. Heating of 40ºC/
sec was achieved with 15wt.-% nickel coated short carbon fibers and 3wt.-% multiwalled carbon nanotubes. However, only nickel coated short carbon fibers (15wt-.%)
attained the heating rate of 24ºC/ sec. In this study, electrical conductivity, thermal
conductivity and magnetic properties testing were also performed. The results also
showed that electrical percolation was achieved around 15wt.-% in fibers and (13-
6)wt.-% with hybrid fillers. Induction heating tests were also performed by making
parallel and perpendicular susceptor sheet as fibers were uni-directionally aligned.
The susceptor sheet was also tested by making perforations.
The susceptor sheet showed homogeneous and fast heating, and can be used for
joining of non-conductive or non-magnetic thermoplastic composites.
Accurate path tracking control of tractors became a key technology for automation in agriculture. Increasingly sophisticated solutions, however, revealed that accurate path tracking control of implements is at least equally important. Therefore, this work focuses on accurate path tracking control of both tractors and implements. The latter, as a prerequisite for improved control, are equipped with steering actuators like steerable wheels or a steerable drawbar, i.e. the implements are actively steered. This work contributes both new plant models and new control approaches for those kinds of tractor-implement combinations. Plant models comprise dynamic vehicle models accounting for forces and moments causing the vehicle motion as well as simplified kinematic descriptions. All models have been derived in a systematic and automated manner to allow for variants of implements and actuator combinations. Path tracking controller design begins with a comprehensive overview and discussion of existing approaches in related domains. Two new approaches have been proposed combining the systematic setup and tuning of a Linear-Quadratic-Regulator with the simplicity of a static output feedback approximation. The first approach ensures accurate path tracking on slopes and curves by including integral control for a selection of controlled variables. The second approach, instead, ensures this by adding disturbance feedforward control based on side-slip estimation using a non-linear kinematic plant model and an Extended Kalman Filter. For both approaches a feedforward control approach for curved path tracking has been newly derived. In addition, a straightforward extension of control accounting for the implement orientation has been developed. All control approaches have been validated in simulations and experiments carried out with a mid-size tractor and a custom built demonstrator implement.
Whole-body vibrations (WBV) have adverse effects on ride comfort and human health. Suspension seats have an important influence on the WBV severity. In this study, WBV were measured on a medium-sized compact wheel loader (CWL) in its typical operations. The effect of short-term exposure to the WBV on the ride comfort was evaluated according to ISO 2631-1:1985 and ISO 2631-1:1997. ISO 2631-1:1997 and ISO 2631-5:2004 were adopted to evaluate the effect of long-term exposure to the WBV on the human health. Reasons for the different evaluation results obtained according to ISO 2631-1:1997 and ISO 2631-5:2004 were explained in this study. The WBV measurements were carried out in cases where the driver wore a lap belt or a four-point seat harness and in the case where the driver did not wear any safety belt. The seat effective amplitude transmissibility (SEAT) and the seat transmissibility in the frequency domain in these three cases were analyzed to investigate the effect of a safety belt on the seat transmissibility. Seat tests were performed on a multi-axis shaking table in laboratory to study the dynamic behavior of a suspension seat under the vibration excitations measured on the CWL. The WBV intensity was reduced by optimizing the vertical and the longitudinal seat suspension systems with the help of computational simulations. For the optimization multi-body models of the seat-dummy system in the laboratory seat tests and the seat-driver system in the field vibration measurements were built and validated.
This thesis deals with the development of a tractor front loader scale which measures payload continuously, independent of the center of gravity of the payload, and unaffected of the position and movements of the loader. To achieve this, a mathematic model of a common front loader is simplified which makes it possible to identify its parameters by a repeatable and automatic procedure. By measuring accelerations as well as cylinder forces, the payload is determined continuously during the working process. Finally, a prototype was build and the scale was tested on a tractor.