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9 April 2010 Dielectric elastomer actuators of silicone rubber-titanium dioxide composites obtained by dielectrophoretic assembly of filler particles
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Abstract
Formation of controlled morphology of fillers in polymeric composites may be difficult to achieve by conventional methods such as mechanical shear or chemical methods. Tunable structure of filler and anisotropic properties in composites can be obtained by exploiting dielectrophoretic assembly of fillers in a polymer composite by using electric fields. In this study, different concentrations of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) particles in silicone rubber matrix were assembled in a chain-like structure by using an alternating electric field. Silicone rubber matrix was vulcanized to transform the liquid to solid and maintain the filler structure in the desired direction. Generation of chain structure of filler was verified by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and equilibrium swelling. It was shown that dielectric permittivity of the oriented composite is higher whereas its dielectric loss factor is lower in the orientation (thickness) direction than those for the composites with random distribution of filler. This phenomenon was in agreement with results of dynamic-mechanical loss factor for these composites, and can be utilized in more efficient dielectric elastomer actuators. Elastic modulus is higher for the structured samples, but presence of titania filler induced a softening effect at higher strains where the actuators are practically being pre-stretched. A critical concentration of filler was distinguished as the percolation point at which the change in dielectric behavior is amplified. Using a simple blocking-force measurement, potential advantages of structured composites over the ones with randomly-distributed filler was explained for potential dielectric elastomer actuator applications.
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S. Javadi and M. Razzaghi-Kashani "Dielectric elastomer actuators of silicone rubber-titanium dioxide composites obtained by dielectrophoretic assembly of filler particles", Proc. SPIE 7642, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010, 76421E (9 April 2010); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.846089
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