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Proceedings Paper

The development of compact electroactive polymer actuators suitable for use in full page Braille displays
Author(s): Lee J. Gorny; Brian C. Zellers; Minren Lin; Sheng Liu; Qiming M. Zhang
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Paper Abstract

Piezoceramic actuators, presently used in commercial Braille displays, are limited by the material's relatively small strain and brittle nature. For this reason, it is a challenge to develop full page, compact, graphic Braille displays that are affordable. A newly developed material composed of P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) terpolymer blended with 5% P(VDF-CTFE) electrostrictive actuators exhibits large strains (~5% at 150V/μm), fast actuation (>5 mm/s), and has a relatively high elastic modulus (1.2 GPa). This material exhibits more than double the elastic energy density and a 50% higher modulus of the original electrostrictive terpolymer. Hence, the potential for viable actuators in compact, full page Braille displays is greater than ever, provided actuators can be manufactured reliably in quantity. This talk presents recent work in scaling production of such rolled actuators. Actuators extend .5 mm, are confined to the 2.5 mm grid spacing of conventional Braille text, generate >0.5 N force and operate at less than 200V, thus meeting the primary requirements for a commercialized Braille display. To manufacture these actuators, cast films are stretched using a roll-to-roll zone drawing machine that is capable of producing quantities of 2 μm thick film with high quality. What follows is a discussion of this machine, the roll-to-roll film stretching process and an assessment of the resulting stretched film for use as linear strain actuators, like those used in our Braille cell.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7642, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010, 76420B (9 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.847467
Show Author Affiliations
Lee J. Gorny, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Brian C. Zellers, Strategic Polymer Sciences (United States)
Minren Lin, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Sheng Liu, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Qiming M. Zhang, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7642:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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