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1 April 2015 Influence of design and material properties on the performance of dielectric elastomer compression sensors
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New designs of dielectric elastomer sensors (DES) which are capable to detect compression loads on rigid as well as on compliant surfaces are introduced in this paper. Currently, DES films exhibit only very poor sensitivity in terms of the change of electric capacitance upon increasing loads for compression measurements. In the new sensor mats, the compression load is converted to a tensile load which acts on an elastomer film located between two profiled elastomer components. In addition, the deformation of the elastomer profiles can also contribute to the sensor effect. All elastomer components were prepared of silicone. A number of parameters which have an influence on the characteristic dependence of capacitance on compression load are discussed. A main influence results from the shape of the elastomer profiles which stretch the elastomer film inside. Also very important are the number and the locations of electrode layers in the sensor mat between which the capacitance is measured. Finally, the hardness of the elastomer plays also a decisive role for the sensor sensitivity. This broad variability of the sensor design offers a high potential to tune the sensor characteristics. Various examples of compression sensors are described and the impact of structural and material parameters is discussed.
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Holger Böse, Eric Fuß, and Philipp Lux "Influence of design and material properties on the performance of dielectric elastomer compression sensors", Proc. SPIE 9430, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015, 943029 (1 April 2015);

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