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Proceedings Paper

Sub-percolative composites for dielectric elastomer actuators
Author(s): H. Stoyanov; M. Kollosche; D. McCarthy; A. Becker; S. Risse; G. Kofod
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Paper Abstract

Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) based on Maxwell-stress induced deformation are considered for many potential applications where high actuation strain and energy are required. However, the high electric field and voltage required to drive them limits some of the applications. The high driving field could be lowered by developing composite materials with high-electromechanical response. In this study, a sub-percolative approach for increasing the electromechanical response has been investigated. Composites with conductive carbon black (CB) particles introduced into a soft rubber matrix poly-(styrene-co-ethylene-co-butylene-co-styrene) (SEBS) were prepared by a drop-casting method. The resulting composites were characterized by dielectric spectroscopy, tensile tests, and for electric breakdown strength. The results showed a substantial increase of the relative permittivity at low volume percentages, thereby preserving the mechanical properties of the base soft polymer material. Young's modulus was found to increase with content of CB, however, due to the low volume percentages used, the composites still retain relatively low stiffness, as it is required to achieve high actuation strain. A serious drawback of the approach is the large decrease of the composite electric breakdown strength, due to the local enhancement in the electric field, such that breakdown events will occur at a lower macroscopic electric field.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 October 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7493, Second International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering, 74930Q (20 October 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.841076
Show Author Affiliations
H. Stoyanov, Univ. of Potsdam (Germany)
M. Kollosche, Univ. of Potsdam (Germany)
D. McCarthy, Univ. of Potsdam (Germany)
A. Becker, Univ. of Potsdam (Germany)
S. Risse, Univ. of Potsdam (Germany)
G. Kofod, Univ. of Potsdam (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7493:
Second International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering
Jinsong Leng; Anand K. Asundi; Wolfgang Ecke, Editor(s)

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