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Proceedings Paper

Ultrahigh strain response of field-actuated elastomeric polymers
Author(s): Roy D. Kornbluh; Ron Pelrine; Qibing Pei; Seajin Oh; Jose Joseph
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Paper Abstract

Extremely large strains were achieved with elastomeric polymer films that are subject to high electric fields. The films were coated on both sides with complaint electrode material. When voltage was applied, the film compressed in thickness and expanded in area. The strain response is dominated by the electrostatic forces produced by the charges on the compliant electrodes. Actuated strains up to 117% were demonstrated with silicone elastomers, and up to 215% with acrylic elastomers. A key to achieving these large strains is to introduce a high prestrain to the film. Specific energy densities were much greater than those of other field-actuated materials. Because the response is electrostatic in nature, the actuation mechanism is predicted to be fast. Response speeds in excess of 2000 Hz have ben demonstrated in silicones. Acrylic response speeds are more than an order of magnitude slower, although the reason for this difference is not yet known. Measurement of material viscoelastic and electrical properties predicts that high efficiencies (> 80%) may be achieved with efficient driver circuits. A variety of actuators, including electrooptical devices, diaphragm pumps, and muscle like linear actuators, have been demonstrated with these materials, suggesting that this technology is well suited to small-scale electromechanical devices and robots.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 June 2000
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 3987, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (7 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.387763
Show Author Affiliations
Roy D. Kornbluh, SRI International (United States)
Ron Pelrine, SRI International (United States)
Qibing Pei, SRI International (United States)
Seajin Oh, SRI International (United States)
Jose Joseph, SRI International (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3987:
Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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