Inflation and Instability of a Polymeric Membrane

Ole Hassager, Susanne Brogaard Kristensen, Johannes Ruben Larsen, Jesper Neergaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


We consider an axisymmetric polymeric membrane inflated by a uniform pressure difference acting across the membrane. The polymeric material is described by an arbitrary combination of a viscoelastic and a purely viscous component to the stress. Some viscoelastic materials described by a Mooney-Rivlin model show a monotone increasing pressure during inflation of a spherical membrane. These materials develop a homogeneous membrane thickness in agreement with the Considere-Pearson condition. Molecularly based models such as the neo-Hookean, Doi-Edwards or Tom-Pom model show a pressure maximum when inflated. Membranes described by these models develop a local thinning of the membrane which may lead to bursting in finite time. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)185-204
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • inflation
  • instability
  • polymeric membrane
  • rheological properties


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