Insights into the viscohyperelastic response of soft magnetorheological elastomers: Competition of macrostructural versus microstructural players Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2022

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 16


  • 111981


  • 256

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0020-7683

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-2146


  • Magnetorheological elastomers (MREs) are multifunctional composites that consist of an elastomeric matrix filled with magnetic particles. These materials respond to an external magnetic field by mechanically deforming and/or changing their magnetorheological properties. Such a multi-physical response has made them extraordinary candidates for a wide variety of applications in soft robotics and bioengineering. However, there are still some gaps of knowledge that prevent the optimal design and application of these MREs. In this regard, the effect of viscoelastic mechanisms remains elusive from a microstructural perspective. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this work provides for the first time a numerical homogenization analysis for various magneto-active microstructures accounting for viscous deformation mechanisms. To this end, we propose an incremental variational formulation that incorporates viscoelasticity via internal variables, which is properly modified to deal with the continuity of Maxwell stresses. The proposed framework is applied to study the magneto-mechanical couplings in extremely soft MREs (stiffness 10 kPa). Such a soft matrix promotes microstructural rearrangements while transmitting internal forces leading to macrostructural synergistic responses. The constitutive parameters are calibrated with experimental tests. The numerical results are accompanied with original magnetostriction tests considering different sample geometries and confined magneto-mechanical tests, reporting the macroscopic response. The results obtained in this work suggest that the effective magneto-mechanical response of the MRE is the outcome of a competition between macrostructural and local microstructural responses, where viscous mechanisms play a relevant role.


  • Biology and Biomedicine
  • Materials science and engineering
  • Physics
  • Robotics and Industrial Informatics


  • magnetorheological elastomer (mre); constitutive modeling; multifunctional composites; viscoelasticity; microstructural homogenization