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Form-finding and analysis of adaptive membrane structures using dynamic relaxation

Speaker: Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, Research Associate
Series: MMS Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E219
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Dielectric elastomer minimum energy structures (DEMES) are adaptive membrane structures composed of a pre-stretched dielectric elastomer membrane adhered to thin flexible frame. Their shape depends on the equilibrium between the prestressed membrane and the inextensible frame and can be controlled with voltage application. Dynamic relaxation is a well-established explicit numerical analysis method used for the form-finding and analysis of prestressed structures. With the incorporation of bending and clustered elements, the method can be used to simulate DEMES equilibrium shapes. The equilibrium shapes of the numerical dynamic relaxation DEMES model are compared to shapes of physical models and show excellent agreement. Dynamic relaxation, with its low computational cost, provides thus an alternative efficient method for the design of future DEMES applications.