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CitationLu, Tongqing, Sibo Cheng, Tiefeng Li, Tiejun Wang, and Zhigang Suo. 2016. Electromechanical Catastrophe. International Journal of Applied Mechanics 08, no. 07: 1640005. doi:10.1142/s1758825116400056.
AbstractA transducer is a system that couples two loads. For example, an electromechanical transducer couples a mechanical force and an electrical voltage. A two-load, nonlinear system can exhibit rich behavior of bifurcation, which can be displayed in a three-dimensional space, with the horizontal plane representing the two loads, and the vertical axis representing the state of the system. In this three-dimensional space, a state of equilibrium at fixed loads corresponds to a point on a surface. The surface is smooth, but its projection to the load plane results in singularities of two types: fold and cusp. Here we identify the fold and cusp for a dielectric elastomer transducer by a combination of experiment and calculation. We conduct two kinds of experiment: electrical actuation under a constant force and mechanical pulling under a constant voltage. The theory and the experiment agree well. The fold and cusp are essential in the design of loading paths to avoid or harness the bifurcation.
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