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Experimental characterisation of commercial elastomers

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Elastomers have different benefits including high elongation, damping coefficient and fatigue life, which contribute to survivability. Despite elastomers being widely used in marine structures such as fenders, buoys, boats and mooring lines, material selection and mechanical characterisation of elastomers have not been widely explored for WECs. A better selection and characterisation of elastomers will allow for improving the accuracy of numerical models where material properties are required to analyse structural integrity, deformation, and power generation of WECs

In this project, different commercial elastomers are selected based on their potential use in marine structures. Natural Rubber (NR), Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR), Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) and Silicone Rubber (SIR) are elastomers used in applications where durability under complex loading scenarios, a high number of fatigue cycles and high resilience are required, such as tires, pipes, gaskets, hose, boats, gloves, anti-vibration mount and among others.

The elastomers are characterised by plane stress, plane strain and biaxial stress conditions. Hyperelastic models are evaluated using ABAQUS and hyperelastic constants are obtained for each elastomer.