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Proceedings Paper

Long lifetime dielectric elastomer actuators under continuous high strain actuation
Author(s): Wei Yuan; Paul Brochu; Han Zhang; Antony Jan; Qibing Pei
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Paper Abstract

Dielectric elastomer actuators have attracted a great deal of attention thanks to their remarkably large actuation strain and energy density. Several different design concepts and configurations have been fabricated for many proposed applications. However, high rates of failure and short lifetime caused by dielectric breakdown have prevented their use in commercial applications. Employing single-walled carbon nanotube electrodes of tens of nanometer thickness and a coating of dielectric oil on the electrode surface, the actuators can be operated continuously at larger than 150% area strain for longer than 1500 minutes without terminal failure. As a comparison, under the same test conditions, actuators with carbon grease electrodes can be driven for less than 60 minutes before terminal failure. It has been demonstrated that the carbon nanotube electrodes endow the actuators with the ability to self-heal following localized dielectric failure, which should make them more amenable to practical applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 72870O (6 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.816076
Show Author Affiliations
Wei Yuan, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Paul Brochu, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Han Zhang, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Antony Jan, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Qibing Pei, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7287:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009
Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Thomas Wallmersperger, Editor(s)

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