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Proceedings Paper

Electromechanical model for static and dynamic activation of elementary dielectric elastomer actuators
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Paper Abstract

In this work the electromechanical performance of planar, single- layered dielectric elastomer (DE) actuators was investigated. The mechanical power density and the overall electromechanical efficiency of DE stripe actuators under continuous activation cycles were examined. The viscoelastic behavior of the dielectric film was modeled with a three-dimensionally coupled spring-damper framework. This film model was fitted to the mechanical behavior of the acrylic film VHB 4910 (3M) evaluated in a combination of a uniaxial loading test with holding time and subsequent unloading. In addition the quasielastic film model was derived in order to evaluate the quasistatic behavior of DE actuators under activation. For the simulation of DE actuators the boundary conditions of the film model were accordingly adapted. By embedding the actuator into an appropriate electrical circuit electrodynamic effects were incorporated as well. The quasielastic model of a planar DE actuator with free boundary conditions predicted a stable deformation state for activation with constant charge. For activation with constant electrical voltage, however, the model showed a stable and an instable equilibrium state. For activation voltages beyond a critical voltage the film collapses in thickness direction due to the electrostatic forces (Maxwell stresses). A biaxially prestrained stripe actuator was described with the viscoelastic film model. The stripe actuator was cyclically activated and cyclically elongated with a phase shift (displacement-controlled). A qualitative parameter study showed that the overall electromechanical efficiency as well as the specific power density of such DE actuators strongly depends on the electrical activation and the external mechanical loading.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 March 2006
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6168, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), 61680F (17 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.657873
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick Lochmatter, Swiss Federal Labs. for Materials Testing and Research (Switzerland)
Silvain A. Michel, Swiss Federal Labs. for Materials Testing and Research (Switzerland)
Gabor M. Kovacs, Swiss Federal Labs. for Materials Testing and Research (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6168:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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