1 April 2015 Finite element analysis of multilayer DEAP stack-actuators
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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, Stefan Kuhring, Dominik Uhlenbusch, Dominik Uhlenbusch, Thorben Hoffstadt, Thorben Hoffstadt, Jürgen Maas, 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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