29 March 2011 Experimental analysis of biasing elements for dielectric electro-active polymers
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Abstract
This paper presents an experimental investigation of three different, small profile and scalable DEAP actuators. These actuators are designed for use in small scale pumping and valve applications. The actuators used in this paper consist of a biasing element (either a mass, linear spring, or a non-linear spring) coupled with a circular dielectric electro-active polymer (DEAP). These mechanisms bias the DEAP allowing out-of-plane actuation when the voltage is cycled. A constant force input, a linear spring, and a non-linear spring are separately tested as the biasing element of a circular/diaphragm DEAP. Tests are systematically performed at various DEAP pre-deflections, biasing stiffness and electrical loading rates. The displacement stroke performance of each test is examined and analyzed. It was found that the non-linear spring provided the largest displacement stroke over two other biasing elements. It also showed better performance at higher electrical loading rates. Thus, of the three types of biasing tested the non-linear spring shows most promise for use in fluid pump/valve applications. Future work will include optimizing this biasing element for the current DEAP design.
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Micah Hodgins, Stefan Seelecke, "Experimental analysis of biasing elements for dielectric electro-active polymers", Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 797639 (29 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883555; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.883555
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