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15 April 2016 Electromechanical performance analysis of inflated dielectric elastomer membrane for micro pump applications
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Dielectric elastomers have received a great deal of attention recently as potential materials for many new types of sensors, actuators and future energy generators. When subjected to high electric field, dielectric elastomer membrane sandwiched between compliant electrodes undergoes large deformation with a fast response speed. Moreover, dielectric elastomers have high specific energy density, toughness, flexibility and shape processability. Therefore, dielectric elastomer membranes have gained importance to be applied as micro pumps for microfluidics and biomedical applications. This work intends to extend the electromechanical performance analysis of inflated dielectric elastomer membranes to be applied as micro pumps. Mechanical burst test and cyclic tests were performed to investigate the mechanical breakdown and hysteresis loss of the dielectric membrane, respectively. Varying high electric field was applied on the inflated membrane under different static pressure to determine the electromechanical behavior and nonplanar actuation of the membrane. These tests were repeated for membranes with different pre-stretch values. Results show that pre-stretching improves the electromechanical performance of the inflated membrane. The present work will help to select suitable parameters for designing micro pumps using dielectric elastomer membrane. However this material lacks durability in operation.This issue also needs to be investigated further for realizing practical micro pumps.
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Abhishek Saini, Dilshad Ahmad, and Karali Patra "Electromechanical performance analysis of inflated dielectric elastomer membrane for micro pump applications", Proc. SPIE 9798, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016, 979813 (15 April 2016);

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