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Proceedings Paper

Elastomer modulus and dielectric strength scaling with sample thickness
Author(s): Kent Larson
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Paper Abstract

Material characteristics such as adhesion and dielectric strength have well recognized dependencies on material thickness. There is disagreement, however, on the scale: the long held dictum that dielectric strength is inversely proportional to the square root of sample thickness has been shown to not always hold true for all materials, nor for all possible thickness regions. In D-EAP applications some studies have postulated a “critical thickness” below which properties show significantly less thickness dependency.

While a great deal of data is available for dielectric strength, other properties are not nearly as well documented as samples get thinner. In particular, elastic modulus has been found to increase and elongation to decrease as sample thickness is lowered. This trend can be observed experimentally, but has been rarely reported and certainly does not appear in typical suppliers’ product data sheets.

Both published and newly generated data were used to study properties such as elastic modulus and dielectric strength vs sample thickness in silicone elastomers. Several theories are examined to explain such behavior, such as the impact of defect size and of common (but not well reported) concentration gradients that occur during elastomer curing that create micron-sized layers at the upper and lower interfaces with divergent properties to the bulk material.

As Dielectric Electro-Active Polymer applications strive to lower and lower material thickness, changing mechanical properties must be recognized and taken into consideration for accurate electro-mechanical predictions of performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2015
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9430, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015, 943013 (1 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083130
Show Author Affiliations
Kent Larson, Dow Corning Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9430:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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