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On the development of planar actuators for variable stiffness devices
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Paper Abstract

This contribution describes the development, the potential and the limitations of planar actuators for controlling bending devices with variable stiffness. Such structures are supposed to be components of new smart, self-sensing and -controlling composite materials for lightweight constructions. To realize a proper stiffness control, it is necessary to develop reliable actuators with high actuation capabilities based on smart materials. Several actuator designs driven by electroactive polymers (EAPs) are presented and discussed regarding to their applicability in such structures. To investigate the actuators, variable-flexural stiffness devices based on the control of its area moment of inertia were developed. The devices consist of a multi-layer stack of thin, individual plates. Stiffness variation is caused by planar actuators which control the sliding behavior between the layers by form closure structures. Previous investigations have shown that actuators with high actuation potential are needed to ensure reliable connections between the layers. For that reason, two kinds of EAPs Danfoss PolyPower and VHB 4905 by 3M, have been studied as driving unit. These EAP-driven actuators will be compared based on experimental measurements and finite element analyses.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2013
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 868727 (9 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2010668
Show Author Affiliations
Markus Henke, Technische Univ. Dresden (Germany)
Gerald Gerlach, Technische Univ. Dresden (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8687:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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