Experimental Investigation of the Inelastic Response of Pig and Rat Skin Under Uniaxial Cyclic Mechanical Loading Academic Article uri icon


  • Skin is a highly non-linear, anisotropic, rate dependent inelastic, and nearly incompressible material which exhibits substantial hysteresis even under very slow (quasistatic) loading conditions. In this paper, a series of uniaxial cyclic loading tests of porcine and rat skin at different strain rates and with samples oriented in different directions (with respect to the spine) were conducted to study the effect of strain rate and samples orientations with respect to spine on mullins effect and skin inelastic response. A noteworthy feature of skin is that, similar to certain filled rubbers, its mechanical response shifts after the first extension and exhibits softening and hysteresis when loaded under cyclic tension and mullins effect is observed. The results of these strain-controlled cyclic loading tests also indicated that the extent of softening is different for different strain rates and orientations. Also a substantial hysteresis persists even at very low strain rates indicating inelastic behavior beyond the rate sensitive viscoelastic response. Through this series of experiments, by investigating the effect of strain rate on pig skin and rat skin, we conclude that the skin response is rate dependent but inelastic and shows irreversible changes in fiber orientation which are observed in histology results. Also, skin shows persistent deformation that is only partially recovered even after a long period of unloading.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Afsar-Kazerooni, N., Srinivasa, A. R., & Criscione, J. C.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • April 2020