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Dielectric electro-active polymers (EAPs) have a significant deformation response to electrical stimulation. The ease of fabrication of these materials makes them very suitable for product-integrated actuators. Existing electromechanical models do not fully integrate all aspects of the physical behavior needed to design such actuator systems. This paper presents a fully integrated, multidomain model for such EAP actuators, combining the electrostatic properties of the electrical circuit with the compliant electrodes, the actual force output in the translation direction, nonlinear elastic behavior, and damping of the polymer material. The capabilities of the developed model are discussed and verified with laboratory experiments.
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2005