Highly deformable actuators made of dielectric elastomers clamped by rigid rings
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CitationLu, Tongqing, Choon Chiang Foo, Jiangshui Huang, Jian Zhu, and Zhigang Suo. 2014. “Highly Deformable Actuators Made of Dielectric Elastomers Clamped by Rigid Rings.” Journal of Applied Physics 115 (18) (May 14): 184105. doi:10.1063/1.4876722.
AbstractIn the nascent field of soft machines, soft materials are used to create devices that actuate robots, sense environment, monitor health, and harvest energy. The soft materials undergo large deformation in response to external stimuli, often leading to instability that is usually undesirable but sometimes useful. Here, we study a dielectric elastomer membrane sandwiched between two soft conductors, rolled into a hollow tube, pre-stretched in the hoop direction, and fixed at the ends of the tube to two rigid rings. This structure functions as an electromechanical transducer when the two rings are subject to a mechanical force and the two conductors are subject to an electrical voltage. We formulate a computational model by using a variational principle and calculate the large and inhomogeneous deformation by solving a nonlinear boundary-value problem. We demonstrate that large actuation strains are achievable when the height-to-radius ratio of the tube is small and the hoop pre-stretch is large. The model provides a tool to analyze various modes of instability and optimize the electromechanical performance.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13919155
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