Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Deformation Behavior of Adaptive Fiber-Rubber Composites with Integrated Shape Memory Alloys

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Fiber-reinforced rubber composites with integrated shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator wires present a promising approach for the creation of soft and highly elastic structures with adaptive functionalities for usage in aerospace, robotic, or biomedical applications. In this work, the flat-knitting technology is used to develop glass-fiber-reinforced fabrics with tailored properties designed for active bending deformations. During the knitting process, the SMA wires are integrated into the textile and positioned with respect to their actuation task. Then, the fabrics are infiltrated with liquid silicone, thus creating actively deformable composites. For dimensioning such structures, a comprehensive understanding of the interactions of all components is required. Therefore, a simulation model is developed that captures the properties of the rubber matrix, fiber reinforcement, and the SMA actuators and that is capable of simulating the active bending deformations of the specimens. After model calibration with experimental four-point-bending data, the SMA-driven bending deformation is simulated. The model is validated with activation experiments of the actively deformable specimens. The simulation results show good agreement with the experimental tests, thus enabling further investigations into the deformation mechanisms of actively deformable fiber-reinforced rubbers.


Original languageEnglish
Article number582
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2022

External IDs

PubMed 35057305
unpaywall 10.3390/ma15020582
ORCID /0000-0001-7450-9641/work/141543610
ORCID /0000-0002-5906-8670/work/141544633
ORCID /0000-0003-0421-4199/work/142244799
ORCID /0000-0002-3386-891X/work/142253765



  • Fiber-rubber composite, Shape memory alloy, Simulation, Smart material

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