Piezoelectric materials are currently among the most promising building blocks of sensing, actuating and energy harvesting systems. However, these materials are limited in applications due to difficulty in machining and casting it on to curve surfaces. To mitigate this issue, one method is through additive manufacturing (direct printing) of piezoelectric nanocomposite in which piezoelectric nanomaterials are embedded into a polymer matrix. Although significant progress has been recently made in this area, modeling the electromechanical response of a directly printed nanocomposite remains a challenge. Thus the objective of this study is to develop robust micromechanical and finite element models that allows the study of the electroelastic properties of a directly printed nanocomposite containing piezoelectric inclusions. Furthermore, the dependence of these properties on geometrical parameters such as aspect ratio and alignment of the active phase are investigated. The focus of this work is a demonstration of the effect gradual alignment of piezoelectric nanowires in a nanocomposite from randomly oriented to purely aligned improves the electroelastic properties of a directly printed nanocomposite. Finally, these models are verified through experimental measurement of electroelastic properties of the nanocomposites containing barium titanate nanowires in Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer.
Alireza Nafari and Henry A. Sodano, "Electromechanical modeling and experimental verification of a directly printed nanocomposite," Proc. SPIE 10596, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites XII, 105960Z (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 07, 2018; Published: 22 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2300383.
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