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Improved electromechanical behavior in castable dielectric elastomer actuators

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3 Author(s)
Akbari, Samin ; Microsystems for Space Technologies Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Neuchâtel, Switzerland ; Rosset, Samuel ; Shea, Herbert R.

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Non-viscoelastic castable elastomers are replacing the polyacrylate VHB films in the new generations of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) to achieve fast and reliable actuation. We introduce the optimum prestretch conditions to enhance the electromechanical behavior of the castable DEAs resulting in large actuation strain. For castable actuator in which the thickness is selected independent of the prestretch, uniaxial prestretch mode offers the highest actuation strain in the transverse direction compared to biaxial and pure shear. We experimentally demonstrate that miniaturization hinders the loss of tension and up to 85% linear actuation strain is generated with a 300 × 300 μm2 polydimethylsiloxanes-based DEA.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:102 ,  Issue: 7 )