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Proceedings Paper

Concept study on active shells driven by soft dielectric EAP
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Paper Abstract

Adaptive structures are capable to change their shape in a smart way in order to "adapt" to variable external conditions. Active shell structures with large out-of-plane deformation potential may be used to generate an interaction between the structural shape and the environment. Exemplarily, such shell-like actuators may be utilized for the propulsion of vehicles through air or water. Among the electroactive polymers (EAPs) especially soft dielectric EAP are promising for driving shell-like actuators due to their huge active strain potential and intrinsic compliancy. The challenging task of this study was to explore the potential of the DE actuator technology for the design of shell-like actuators with the ability to perform complex out-of-plane deflections. We present and evaluate concepts for the design of active shell structures driven by soft dielectric EAP. Preliminary experiments were conducted for selected approaches in order to basically verify their principle of operation and to quantify their active out-of-plane deformation potential. These experiments showed that the so-called agonist-antagonist configuration, where pre-strained DE films are attached on both sides of a hinged backbone structure, holds good performance in terms of active out-of-plane deflections and forces.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2007
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6524, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007, 65241O (5 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.716642
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick Lochmatter, Empa (Switzerland)
Gabor M. Kovacs, Empa (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6524:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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