1 April 2015 Stacking trilayers to increase force generation
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Trilayer actuators enable large mechanical amplification, but at the expense of force. Thicker trilayers can generate more force, but displacement drops. Ideally of course a combination of high force and large displacement is desirable. In this work we explore the stacking of trilayers driven by conducting polymers in order to combine large force and reasonable deflection. Trilayer actuators operating in air are simulated using the finite element method. Force generated and the maximum beam deflection of individual and multiple stacked trilayers are studied in terms of the interface condition of the neighboring layers and the length of the auxiliary trilayer. The best performance is obtained when trilayers are able to slide with respect to each other so forces can add without impeding displacement. This case will require low friction and uniformity among the trilayers. Bonding of stacked trilayers along their entire length increases force, but dramatically reduces displacement. An alternative which leads to moderate displacements with increased force is the use of a long and a short trilayer that are bonded.
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Meisam Farajollahi, Meisam Farajollahi, Saeede Ebrahimi Takallo, Saeede Ebrahimi Takallo, Vincent Woehling, Vincent Woehling, Adelyne Fannir, Adelyne Fannir, Cédric Plesse, Cédric Plesse, Frédéric Vidal, Frédéric Vidal, Farrokh Sassani, Farrokh Sassani, John D. W. Madden, John D. W. Madden, "Stacking trilayers to increase force generation", Proc. SPIE 9430, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015, 94301A (1 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2086797; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2086797

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