Smart materials are active and multifunctional materials, which play an important part for sensor and actuator applications.
These materials have the potential to transform passive structures into adaptive systems. However, a prerequisite for the
design and the optimization of these materials is, that reliable models exist, which incorporate the interaction between the
different combinations of thermal, electrical, magnetic, optical and mechanical effects. Polymeric electroelastic materials,
so-called electroactive polymer (EAP), own the characteristic to deform if an electric field is applied. EAP's possesses the
benefit that they share the characteristic of polymers, these are lightweight, inexpensive, fracture tolerant, elastic, and the
chemical and physical structure is well understood. However, the description "electroactive polymer" is a generic term
for many kinds of different microscopic mechanisms and polymeric materials. Based on the laws of electromagnetism
and elasticity, a visco-electroelastic model is developed and implemented into the finite element method (FEM). The
presented three-dimensional solid element has eight nodes and trilinear interpolation functions for the displacement and
the electric potential. The continuum mechanics model contains finite deformations, the time dependency and the nearly
incompressible behavior of the material. To describe the possible, large time dependent deformations, a finite viscoelastic
model with a split of the deformation gradient is used. Thereby the time dependent characteristic of polymeric materials
is incorporated through the free energy function. The electromechanical interactions are considered by the electrostatic
forces and inside the energy function.