9 April 2010 Dielectric elastomer bending tube actuators with rigid electrode structures
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The common approach for dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) is based on the assumption that compliant electrodes are a fundamental design requirement. For tube-like applications compliant electrodes cause a change of the actuator diameter during actuation and would require additional support-structures. Focused on thinwalled actuator-tube geometries room consumption and radial stabilityr epresent crucial criteria. Following the ambition of maximum functional integration, the concept of using a rigid electrode structure arises. This structure realizes both, actuation and support characteristics. The intended rigid electrode structure is based on a stacked DEA with a non-compressible dielectric. Byactu ation, the displaced dielectric causes an overlap. This overlap serves as an indicator for geometrical limitations and has been used to extract design rules regarding the electrode size, electrode distance and maximum electrode travel. Bycons idering the strain in anydir ection, the mechanical efficiencyhas been used to define further design aspects. To verifyt he theoretic analysis, a test for determination of the compressive stress-strain-characteristics has been applied for different electrode setups. As result the geometrydep ending elastic pressure module has been formulated by implementation of a shape factor. The presented investigations consider exclusive the static behavior of a DEA-setup with rigid electrodes.
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F. Wehrheim, F. Wehrheim, H. F. Schlaak, H. F. Schlaak, J.-U. Meyer, J.-U. Meyer, } "Dielectric elastomer bending tube actuators with rigid electrode structures", Proc. SPIE 7642, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010, 76420L (9 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.846330; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.846330

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