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A Visco-hyperelastic Constitutive Model for Fiber-Reinforced Rubber Composites



The focus of this study is to develop a fabric architecture-based constitutive model to predict the time-dependent mechanical behavior of a knitted-fiber-reinforced rubber. The rubber composite has a sandwich structure consisting of a fabric layer embedded into two rubber layers. Here, the rubber is a visco-hyperelastic material, while the fibers tend to be linear elastic with little extensibility. The rubber composite shows a nonlinear, anisotropic constitutive response under finite strawin and stress relaxation under constant deformation, which is modeled through a novel strain energy function. The anisotropic behavior comes from the conservation of the total length of the fiber cords. The strain energy function comprises two parts to define both the static behavior and the time-dependent response. This approach enables the determination of the constitutive behavior of the rubber composite based on the constituent material properties and geometry, such as the viscoelastic properties of the rubber and the fiber architecture. The proposed strain-energy-based approach is validated through a full Finite Element (FE) model on basis of a Representative Unit Cell (RUC), in which the textile reinforcement and rubber layers are modeled explicitly.


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