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Proceedings Paper

Extending applications of dielectric elastomer artificial muscle
Author(s): Seiki Chiba; Mikio Waki; Roy Kornbluh; Ron Pelrine
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Paper Abstract

Dielectric elastomers have demonstrated high energy density and high strains as well as high electromechanical efficiency and fast speeds of response. These properties, combined with their projected low cost make them attractive for a variety of actuator applications including linear actuators, diaphragm pumps, rotary motors, and haptic displays. Dielectric elastomers have also been shown to offer high energy density, high efficiency, and large strains when operated as generators. Dielectric elastomers have reached a stage of development where standardized products can be applied to new applications. In some cases, dielectric elastomer devices are improvements over existing devices. In other cases, however, dielectric elastomers can enable new types of devices that cannot be made with existing technologies, such as new types of loudspeakers and power generating devices. A new dipole loudspeaker system was developed using a commercially available push-pull diaphragm configuration. This same transducer configuration was used to develop a new power generating system. This generator system enables a power generation of 0.06 to 0.12 W by manually displacing the device by 5 to 6 mm once a second. By introducing a voltage step-down conversion circuit, the device was able to power wireless communications, allowing the control of devices separated by a distance of a few meters. These two devices are examples of the new applications that are enabled as the dielectric elastomer technology commercially emerges. Future improvements to dielectric elastomers could enable new capabilities in clean electrical power generation from ocean waves, for example.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2007
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 6524, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007, 652424 (5 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.728671
Show Author Affiliations
Seiki Chiba, SRI International (United States)
Mikio Waki, Hyper Drive Co. Ltd. (Japan)
Roy Kornbluh, SRI International (United States)
Ron Pelrine, SRI International (United States)

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

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