Large deformation and adhesive contact studies of axisymmetric membranes

Evan J. Laprade, Rong Long, Jonathan T. Pham, Jimmy Lawrence, Todd Emrick, Alfred J. Crosby, Chung Yuen Hui, Kenneth R. Shull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A model membrane contact system consisting of an acrylic copolymer membrane and a PDMS substrate was utilized to evaluate a recently developed nonlinear large-deformation adhesive contact analysis. Direct measurements of the local membrane apex strain during noncontact inflation indicated that the neo-Hookean model provides an accurate measure of membrane strain and supports its use as the strain energy function for the analysis. Two membrane contact geometries, exhibiting significantly different strain distributions during withdrawal, were investigated. The first examines the wet contact of an air pressurized membrane. The second looks at the dry contact of a fluid deformed membrane in which a stepper motor controls membrane-substrate separation. A time-dependent modulus emerges from the analysis, with principal tensions obtained from a comparison of predicted and experimental membrane profiles. The applicability of this numerical analysis for determining membrane tension, however, is limited by wrinkling instabilities and viscoelasticity. For this reason, a conceptually simpler method, based on the direct measurement of the membrane tension and contact angle, was also utilized. The traditional peel energy defined with this direct measurement accurately described the membrane/substrate adhesive interactions, giving well-defined peel energies that were independent of the detailed strain state of the membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1419
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 5 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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