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As a university project, we are designing an electronic device in which the output depends on the current thickness of a thin polymer layer (typically around a few microns) which is subject to different levels of pressure and thus different levels of compression.

I am interested in understanding how to model the time it takes the polymer layer to recover to its original thickness, say the pressure instantaneously dropped to the original "zero" level.

Although I stand to be corrected, I believe a good place to start is Newton's second law (f=ma), and accounting for gravity based on device orientation at operation. Once a value for acceleration is found, the time required to reach a specific length can then be easily computed.

If this is a valid approach, which mass do I use in that formula? Is it the entire mass of the material that forms the layer?

Your help is greatly greatly appreciated!

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# Time required for recovery from compression

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