1 April 2015 Finite element analysis of multilayer DEAP stack-actuators
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Abstract
Dielectric elastomers (DE) are thin polymer films belonging to the class of electroactive polymers (EAP). They are coated with compliant and conductive electrodes on each side, which make them performing a relative high amount of deformation with considerable force generation under the influence of an electric field. Because the realization of high electric fields with a limited voltage level requests single layer polymer films to be very thin, novel multilayer actuators are utilized to increase the absolute displacement and force. In case of a multilayer stack-actuator, many actuator films are mechanically stacked in series and electrically connected in parallel. Because there are different ways to design such a stack-actuator, this contribution considers an optimization of some design parameters using the finite element analysis (FEA), whereby the behavior and the actuation of a multilayer dielectric electroactive polymer (DEAP) stack-actuator can be improved. To describe the material behavior, first different material models are compared and necessary material parameters are identified by experiments. Furthermore, a FEA model of a DEAP film is presented, which is expanded to a multilayer DEAP stack-actuator model. Finally, the results of the FEA are discussed and conclusions for design rules of optimized stack-actuators are outlined.
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Stefan Kuhring, Dominik Uhlenbusch, Thorben Hoffstadt, Jürgen Maas, "Finite element analysis of multilayer DEAP stack-actuators", Proc. SPIE 9430, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015, 94301L (1 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2085121; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2085121
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