Three-dimensional finite element simulations of ferroelectric polycrystals under electrical and mechanical loading

A. Pathak, Robert Maxwell McMeeking

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58 Citations (Scopus)


Complex, non-linear, irreversible, hysteretic behavior of polycrystalline ferroelectric materials under a combined electro-mechanicalloading is a result of domain wall motion, causing simultaneous expansion and contraction of unlike domains, grain sub-divisions that have distinct spontaneous polarization and strain. In this paper, a 3-dimensionalfiniteelement method is used to simulate such a polycrystalline ferroelectricunderelectrical and mechanicalloading. A constitutive law due to Huber et al. [1999. A constitutive model for ferroelectricpolycrystals. J. Mech. Phys. Solids 47, 1663–1697] for switching by domain wall motion in multidomain ferroelectric single crystals is employed in our model to represent each grain, and the finiteelement method is used to solve the governing conditions of mechanical equilibrium and Gauss's law. The results provide the average behavior for the polycrystalline ceramic. We compare the outcomes predicted by this model with the available experimental data for various electromechanical loading conditions. The qualitative features of ferroelectric switching are predicted well, including hysteresis and butterfly loops, the effect on them of mechanical compression, and the response of the polycrystal to non-proportional electricalloading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-683
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number2
Early online date16 May 2007
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • ferroelectric polycrystals
  • 3D model
  • electro-mechanical loading
  • ferroelectric switching
  • self-consistent model


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