Multi-Axial Fatigue in Magnetorheological Elastomers using Bubble Inflation

Yanfen Zhou, Centre for Elastomer Research
Stephen Jerrams, Centre for Elastomer Research
Lin Chen, Beijing Aeronautical Science and Technology Research Institute, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, PR China

Journal of Materials and Design, vol. 50, 2013, p.68.

Doi : 10.1016/j.matdes.2013.02.071


For materials in modern machines, fatigue strength is probably the most critical physical property that needs to be understood. In particular, the high dynamic loading experienced by machine parts necessitates understanding fatigue properties in life limiting components. However, rubber fatigue is imperfectly understood and even less is known about fatigue resistance in adaptive or smart elastomers. Preliminary research into the equi-biaxial fatigue behaviour of magnetorheological elastomers (MREs) is described here. Test samples were fabricated by incorporating carbonyl iron particles, typically of 6–7 lm in diameter, in room temperature vulcanised (RTV) silicone rubber. Physical testing was conducted using a bubble inflation testing system and test samples were fatigued at stress amplitudes between 0.75 MPaand 1.4 MPa under engineering stress control. S–N (Wöhler) curves of stress amplitude (ra = S) versus cycles to failure (N) are presented. Stress–strain behaviour throughout the fatigue process is also described. For a stress amplitude of 0.75 MPa and zero minimum stress, stress softening was observed for the entire test, though it was particularly pronounced in the first 100 cycles of testing. A limiting value of complex modulus (E*), observed previously in dynamic testing of conventional elastomers, was determined in these tests.