Dielectric elastomer (DE) is one type of electro-active polymers (EAP) that responds to electrical stimulation with a significant shape and size change. As EAPs, dielectric elastomers are lightweight, inexpensive, pliable and can be fabricated into various shapes, all of which are attractive properties to justify the intense research in the field. This paper presents a nonlinear, electrical and mechanical coupled, large deformation finite element formulation for DEAs. Maxwell’s equations for the electroquasistatic fields were solved simultaneously with equation of linear momentum. The hyperelastic Ogden model and total Maxwell stress methods were combined to describe the material. The formulation was based on the weak forms of Maxwell’s equation and linear momentum expressed in the reference configuration. The closed form consistent tangent moduli for dielectric elastomers were derived. To our knowledge, the large deformation electric-mechanical coupled finite element application and the closed-form expressions of the tangent moduli have not been reported previously. The results of the simulation have demonstrated the validity of the method from the computational aspect.

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