The main purpose of this study was to determine a suitable strain energy function for a specific elastomer. A survey of various strain energy functions proposed in the past was made. For natural rubber, there were some specific strain energy functions which could accurately fit the experimental data for various types of deformations. The process of determining a strain energy function for the specific elastomer was then described. The second-order invariant polynomial strain energy function (James et al., 1975) was found to give a good fit to the experimental data of uniaxial tension, uniaxial compression, equi-biaxial extension, and pure shear. A new form of strain energy function was proposed; it yielded improved results. The equi-biaxial extension experiment was done in a novel way in which the moire techniques (Pendleton, 1989) were used. The obtained strain energy functions were then utilized in a finite element program to calculate the load-deflection relation of an electrometric spring used in an electrical connector.

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