9 April 2013 New operating limits for applications with electroactive elastomer: effect of the drift of the dielectric permittivity and the electrical breakdown
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Abstract
Dielectric elastomer generators are a promising solution to scavenge energy from human motion, due to their lightweight, high efficiency low cost and high energy density. Performances of a dielectric elastomer used in a generator application are generally evaluated by the maximum energy which can be converted. This energy is defined by an area of allowable states and delimited by different failure modes such as: electrical breakdown, loss of tension, mechanical rupture and electromechanical instability, which depend deeply on dielectric behaviors of the material. However, there is controversy on the dielectric constant (permittivity) of usual elastomers used for these applications. This paper aims to investigate the dielectric behaviors of two popular dielectric elastomers: VHB 4910 (3M) and Polypower (Danfoss). This study is undertaken on a broad range of temperature. We focus on the influence of pre-stretch in the change of the dielectric constant. An originality of this study is related to the significant influence of the nature of compliant electrodes deposited on these elastomers. Additionally, the electrical breakdown field of these two elastomers has been studied as a function of pre-stretch and temperature. Lastly, thanks to these experiments, analytic equations have been proposed to take into account the influence of the temperature, the pre-stretch and the nature of the compliant electrodes on the permittivity. These analytic equations and the electrical breakdown field were embedded in a thermodynamic model making it possible to define new limits of operation closer to the real use of these elastomers for energy harvesting applications.
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T. Vu-Cong, C. Jean-Mistral, A. Sylvestre, "New operating limits for applications with electroactive elastomer: effect of the drift of the dielectric permittivity and the electrical breakdown", Proc. SPIE 8687, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2013, 86871S (9 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2007698; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2007698
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