Mechanics of bioinspired fiber reinforced elastomers
Published 2019-12-02Version 1
Fiber reinforcement is a crucial attribute of soft bodied muscular hydrostats that have the ability to undergo large deformations and maintain their posture. Helically wound fibers around the cylindrical worm body help control the tube diameter and length. Geometric considerations show that a fiber winding angle of 54.7 degrees, called the magic angle, results in a maximum enclosed volume. Few studies have explored the effects of differential fiber winding on the large deformation mechanics of fiber reinforced elastomers (FRE). We fabricated FRE materials in transversely isotropic layouts varying from 0-90 degrees using a custom filament winding technique and characterized the nonlinear stress-strain relationships using uniaxial and equibiaxial experiments. We used these data within a continuum mechanical framework to propose a novel constitutive model for incompressible FRE materials with embedded extensible fibers. The model includes individual contributions from the matrix and fibers in addition to coupled terms in strain invariants, I1 and I4. The deviatoric stress components show inversion at fiber orientation angles near the magic angle in the FRE composites. These results are useful in soft robotic applications and in the biomechanics of fiber reinforced tissues such as the myocardium, arteries and skin.