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Proceedings Paper

Synthesis and electromechanical characterization of a new acrylic dielectric elastomer with high actuation strain and dielectric strength
Author(s): Wei Hu; Xiaofan Niu; Xinguo Yang; Naifang Zhang; Qibing Pei
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Paper Abstract

Dielectric Elastomers (DEs) can be actuated under high electric field to produce large strains. Most high-performing DE materials such as the 3M VHB membranes are commercial products designed for industrial pressure-sensitive adhesives. The limited knowledge of the exact chemical structures of these commercial materials has made it difficult to understand the relationship between molecular structures and electromechanical properties. In this work, new acrylic elastomers based on n-butyl acrylate and acrylic acid were synthesized from monomer solutions by UV-initiated bulk polymerization. The new acrylic copolymers have a potential to obtain high dielectric constant, actuation strain, dielectric strength, and a high energy density. Silicone and ester oligomer diacrylates were also added onto the copolymer structures to suppress crystallization and to crosslink the polymer chains. Four acrylic formulations were developed with different amounts of acrylic acid. This gives a tunable stiffness, while the dielectric constant is varied from 4.3 to 7.1. The figure-of-merit performance of the best formulation is 186 % area strain, 222 MV/m of dielectric strength, and 2.7 MJ/m3 of energy density. To overcome electromechanical instability, different prestrain ratios were investigated, and under the optimized prestrain, the material has a lifetime of thousands of cycles at 120 % area strain.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2013
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 86872U (9 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2009374
Show Author Affiliations
Wei Hu, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Xiaofan Niu, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Xinguo Yang, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Naifang Zhang, Univ of California Los Angeles (United States)
Qibing Pei, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8687:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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