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Proceedings Paper

Loading system mechanism for dielectric elastomer generators with equi-biaxial state of deformation
Author(s): M. Fontana; G. Moretti; B. Lenzo; R. Vertechy
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Paper Abstract

Dielectric Elastomer Generators (DEGs) are devices that employ a cyclically variable membrane capacitor to produce electricity from oscillating sources of mechanical energy. Capacitance variation is obtained thanks to the use of dielectric and conductive layers that can undergo different states of deformation including: uniform or non-uniform and uni- or multi-axial stretching. Among them, uniform equi-biaxial stretching is reputed as being the most effective state of deformation that maximizes the amount of energy that can be extracted in a cycle by a unit volume of Dielectric Elastomer (DE) material. This paper presents a DEG concept, with linear input motion and tunable impedance, that is based on a mechanical loading system for inducing uniform equi-biaxial states of deformation. The presented system employs two circular DE membrane capacitors that are arranged in an agonist-antagonist configuration. An analytical model of the overall system is developed and used to find the optimal design parameters that make it possible to tune the elastic response of the generator over the range of motion of interest. An apparatus is developed for the equi-biaxial testing of DE membranes and used for the experimental verification of the employed numerical models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2014
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9056, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014, 90561F (8 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2045086
Show Author Affiliations
M. Fontana, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy)
G. Moretti, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy)
B. Lenzo, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy)
R. Vertechy, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9056:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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