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Proceedings Paper

Finite element modeling of electromechanical behavior of a dielectric electroactive polymer actuator
Author(s): Aseem Deodhar; Alexander York; Micah Hodgins; Stefan Seelecke
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Paper Abstract

Dielectric Electroactive Polymers (DEAP) will undergo large deformations when subject to an electric field making them an attractive material for use in novel actuator systems. There are many challenges with successful application and design of DEAP actuators resulting from their inherent electromechanical coupling and non-linear material behavior. FE modeling of the material behavior is a useful tool to better understand such systems and aid in the optimal design of prototypes. These modeling efforts must account for the electromechanical coupling in order to accurately predict their response to multiple loading conditions expected during real operating conditions. This paper presents a Finite Element model of a dielectric elastomer undergoing out-of-plane, axisymmetric deformation. The response of the elastomer was investigated while it was subjected to mechanical and electric fields and combined electro-mechanical actuation. The compliant electrodes have a large effect on the mechanical behavior of the EAP which needs to be taken into consideration while modeling the EAP as a system. The model is adapted to include the effect of electrode stiffness on the mechanical response of the actuator. The model was developed using the commercial Finite Element Modeling software, COMSOL. The results from the mechanical simulations are presented in the form of forcedisplacement curves and are validated with comparisons to experimental results. Electromechanical simulations are carried out and the stroke of the actuator for different electrode stiffness values is compared with experimental values when the EAP is biased with a constant force.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 April 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7978, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2011, 79780D (28 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883556
Show Author Affiliations
Aseem Deodhar, North Carolina State Univ. (United States)
Univ. of Saarland (Germany)
Alexander York, Univ. of Saarland (Germany)
Micah Hodgins, Univ. of Saarland (Germany)
Stefan Seelecke, Univ. of Saarland (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7978:
Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2011
Zoubeida Ounaies; Stefan S. Seelecke, Editor(s)

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