6 April 2009 Integrated gas valve array using dielectric elastomer actuators
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In this paper we are presenting a concept of a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) driven gas valve array for use in a micro burner unit. Such a unit consists of a spatial array of gas nozzles. Every valve controls the gas flow through a single nozzle. With individual control of each valve the burner can be activated partially in controlled spatial patterns. Therefore, the heat dissipation can be controlled and adjusted according to the current needs. For the individual valves a simple control valve rather than a proportional valve can be used. Using dielectric elastomer actuators to control the gas flow an additional demand for thermal decoupling between firing chamber and dielectric elastomer actuator must be met. Therefore, the valve seat is made of a heat-resistant material. With a polymer based ceramic the thermal decoupling can be achieved. Additionally, this material permits the fabrication of arbitrary three dimensional structures. To control the gas flow different configurations of actuator and valve seat are possible. They are compared according to the complexity of the assembly and the possibility of a monolithic fabrication. The different configurations contain different actuation modes (thickness variation versus lateral deformation), direct or indirect control of gas flow and different valve movements relative to gas flow.
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Klaus Flittner, Peter Lotz, Marc Matysek, Michael Schlosser, Helmut F. Schlaak, "Integrated gas valve array using dielectric elastomer actuators", Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 72872C (6 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.819213; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.819213

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