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Wound Roll Dielectric Elastomer Actuators: Fabrication, Analysis, and Experiments

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4 Author(s)
Arun Rajamani ; Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park ; Michael D. Grissom ; Christopher D. Rahn ; Qiming Zhang

Wound roll electroactive polymer actuators fabricated with dielectric elastomer (DE) materials provide high bandwidth actuation for robots, minipumps, loudspeakers, valves, and prosthetic devices. In this paper, we develop a DE wound roll actuator fabrication process that produces high strain (12%), reliable (3480 cycles at maximum strain), and stiff (144 N/m) actuators. An axisymmetric Unite element model with electrostatic and radial bulk modulus nonlinearity predicts actuator displacement and stress. The maximum compressive radial stress occurs at the center of the innermost active layer. This layer also has the thinnest material, indicating the most likely failure point. The nonlinear model predicts actuator displacement in response to applied voltage and load, matching experiments to within 1 mm.

Published in:

IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 1 )