Apr 15, 2020

Viscoelasticity in simple indentation-cycle experiments: a computational study

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Yuri M. EfremovP. S. Timashev


Instrumented indentation has become an indispensable tool for quantitative analysis of the mechanical properties of soft polymers and biological samples at different length scales. These types of samples are known for their prominent viscoelastic behavior, and attempts to calculate such properties from the indentation data are constantly made. The simplest indentation experiment presents a cycle of approach (deepening into the sample) and retraction of the indenter, with the output of the force and indentation depth as functions of time and a force versus indentation dependency (force curve). The linear viscoelastic theory based on the elastic-viscoelastic correspondence principle might predict the shape of force curves based on the experimental conditions and underlying relaxation function of the sample. Here, we conducted a computational analysis based on this theory and studied how the force curves were affected by the indenter geometry, type of indentation (triangular or sinusoidal ramp), and the relaxation functions. The relaxation functions of both traditional and fractional viscoelastic models were considered. The curves obtained from the analytical solutions, numerical algorithm and finite element simulations matched ea...Continue Reading

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