A mixed hybrid finite element framework for the simulation of swelling ionized hydrogels

Cong Yu (Corresponding author), Kamyar Malakpoor, Jacques M. Huyghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Ionized hydrogels, as osmoelastic media, swell enormously (1000 times its original volume in unionized water) due to the osmotic pressure difference caused by the presence of the negatively charged ion groups attached to the solid matrix (polymer chains). The coupling between the extremely large deformations (induced by swelling) and fluid permeation is a field of application that regular poroelasticity formulations cannot handle. In this work, we present a mixed hybrid finite element (MHFE) computational framework featuring a three-field (deformation-chemical potential-flux) formulation. This formulation guarantees that mass conservation is preserved both locally and globally. The impact of such a property on the swelling simulations is demonstrated by four numerical examples in 2D. This paper focuses on the implementation aspects of the MHFE model and shows that it stays robust and accurate for a volume increase of more than 3000%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-852
Number of pages18
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


  • Finite deformation
  • Hydrogel
  • Mixed formulation
  • Numerical methods
  • Swelling model

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