Design and manufacture of DEAP based devices used for energy harvesting is a challenging multidiscipline task.
Research has predominately focused on small scale proof of concept designs and human powered size devices. Methods
for scaling from the proof of concept size into large scale DEAP devices are addressed. DEAP material properties for
energy harvesting applications are established. Results of the mechanical and electrical characterization of large scale
DEAP energy harvesting devices are presented. Manufacturing and quality controls concepts used by Danfoss
PolyPower for large scale energy harvesting are presented.
Tubular actuators (push InLastor) fabricated from dielectric electro-active polymers (DEAP) have been developed and optimized with focus on high volume roll to roll automated manufacturing techniques and processes by Danfoss PolyPower®. This paper reports the dynamic mechanical behaviour from varying electrical stimulus of a PolyPower push InLastor. A simplified harmonic motion model of a spring load mass is shown to accurately predict the resonant frequency of push InLastors when working as displacement devices. The steady state frequency response results are presented for varying mechanical loads and drive voltage stimuli. The step function transient results are also present for different loading conditions. Methodology to extract parameters for the classic mass-spring-damper is also presented. Similarly, results are presented for the use of push Inlastors as force elements. The electrical to mechanical efficiency of PolyPower push InLastor is estimated.
Dielectric electro active polymers (DEAP) hold much promise as a smart material. Over the years devices have been
developed that demonstrate the unique capabilities of DEAP as an actuator, sensor, and energy converter. In recent
years, significant progress has been made towards commercialization of this technology platform. The behaviour of
these devices has been widely modelled and models correlated to real world devices. A wide network of
international researchers continues to extend the state of the art and equip engineers with the skills and knowledge to
design DEAP into numerous applications. A strong collaborative environment exists between research and industry
and consortia-like organizations are being formed to maximize research. DEAP is poised for an era of rapid
acceleration of capabilities and acceptance into mainstream products.
A novel large strain PolyPower® compliant electrode has been manufactured and tested. The new electrode design is
based on the anisotropic corrugated electrode principle with a corrugation profile designed to enable up to 100 percent
linear strain of PolyPower compliant electrodes. Specifically, corrugations height-to-period ratio in the range of 1
allows stretching the thin metal electrode more than 80 percent without inducing any substantial damage to it. Based
upon this new design, PolyPower films and laminates are large scale manufactured and used to fabricate PolyPower
InLastor actuators and sensors capable of withstanding large strain conditions. The metal electrode is applied onto the
corrugated surface of silicone elastomer film.
Experimental measurements made with single-layer dielectric electro-active polymer (DEAP) PolyPower laminates are
presented. Electrical and mechanical properties of the electrode are discussed. Stress and capacitance measurements as a
function of strain and corrugations height-to-period ratio are used as a basis to analyze the properties of the laminates. It
can be shown that the degree of anisotropy of compliant electrode affects the stress and capacitance dependence as a
function of axial strain in the compliance direction. The degree of anisotropy of the electrode depends very much on the
thickness of the coatings applied to the corrugated surface of elastomer film. This degree determines the conversion
ratio of Maxwell pressure into actuation pressure in the direction of compliance. The effects of electrode thickness on
the stress and strain relaxation properties of the DEAP laminate are also presented.
DEAP Actuator structures are being developed and optimized with focus on high volume automated manufacturing
techniques and processes. New core-free and self-supporting structures are capable of providing PUSH forces without
external mechanical tension mechanisms or film pre-strain. Fundamental actuator design and construction principles are
presented. A simple quasi-static model governing behaviour is presented and actual results from this new class of push
actuator devices are compared to modelled behaviour. These actuators have the capability of modest stroke and high
actuation forces. Actuators can be easily scaled to fit the application based upon physical size and force-stroke