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10 April 2008 High-precision characterization of dielectric elastomer stack actuators and their material parameters
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Stacked dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) act as solid state actuators. Modeling such an electromechanical system demands the knowledge about the mechanical and electrical parameters of the used materials as well as the real static and dynamic behavior. In elastomer actuators the electrical properties of the materials might change with applied mechanical stress or applied voltage as it is known from some materials (e. g. polyacryl). Therefore, we examined the PDMS used in stacked dielectric elastomer actuators regarding such dependencies. We present results from testing the permittivity of two different silicones (Elastosil P7670, Wacker Silicones; RTV410, Bayer) versus mechanical stress, frequency of the driving voltage, film thickness and curing temperature. The resulting movement of a stacked actuator is not a single displacement of the elements but a rather complex bulk deformation. Therefore, a planar displacement measurement system is necessary. Laser displacement sensors offer the possibility of a two-sided measurement. This allows to determine the actual thickness variation even if the actuator array moves out of plane. The setup includes a prestretching device to clamp the actuators symmetrically and to simulate an uniaxial load. The realized measurement setup has an effective vertical measurement range of 10 mm, a resolution of 100 nm at a sample rate of 20 kHz. This allows the static and dynamic displacement measurement of planar actuators.
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Marc Matysek, Peter Lotz, Klaus Flittner, and Helmut F. Schlaak "High-precision characterization of dielectric elastomer stack actuators and their material parameters", Proc. SPIE 6927, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2008, 692722 (10 April 2008);

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