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Proceedings Paper

Interferometric measurement of the transverse strain response of electroactive polymers
Author(s): Wei Ren; Guomao Yang; Binu K. Mukherjee; Jeffrey P. Szabo
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Paper Abstract

Some electroactive polymers produce large electric-field-induced strains that can be used for electromechanical actuation. The measurement of the strain response, especially the dynamic response under high driving fields, is difficult. We have developed a transverse strain measurement system based on the Zygo laser Doppler interferometer. The system can measure transverse strain responses of polymer samples of different sizes over a wide displacement range and a frequency range from DC up to 100 Hz. We have used this interferometric system to investigate the strain response of Maxwell stress actuators fabricated from silicone (Dow Corning HS III RTV) and thermoplastic polyurethane (Dow Pellethane 2103) films. The static and dynamic strain responses of the materials to a variety of driving electric fields such as step fields, AC fields and DC bias fields have been measured as functions of amplitude and frequency. The strain response has a quadratic relationship with the driving field and shows a strong dependence on the frequency of the applied field. Of the two kinds of polymers investigated, HS III silicone polymer shows higher strain and breakdown fields. High transverse strains of 3.25 % (static) and 2.08 % (dynamic at 1 Hz) for HS III silicone polymers have been obtained. In addition, the effect of mechanical tensile load on the transverse strain has also been studied. The experimental data are interpreted in terms of measured material properties and small strain models for dielectric film actuators.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5385, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (27 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.538531
Show Author Affiliations
Wei Ren, Royal Military College of Canada (Canada)
Guomao Yang, Royal Military College of Canada (Canada)
Binu K. Mukherjee, Royal Military College of Canada (Canada)
Jeffrey P. Szabo, Defence R&D Canada/Atlantic (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5385:
Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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