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Broadening the Actuation Temperature Range for Acrylic Dielectric Elastomers

[+] Author Affiliations
Antony Jan, Wei Yuan, Paul Brochu, Han Zhang, Qibing Pei

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Christopher Henry

HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, CA

Paper No. SMASIS2009-1438, pp. 283-287; 5 pages
  • ASME 2009 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 1: Active Materials, Mechanics and Behavior; Modeling, Simulation and Control
  • Oxnard, California, USA, September 21–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4896-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3857-0
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Dielectric elastomer actuators are an important branch of electroactive polymers with a host of applications proposed. However, the temperature range over which these elastomers are active has been limited by the glass transition temperature and thermal stability. Acrylic elastomers, VHB adhesive films from 3M Company, exhibit high actuation strain and stress at room temperature, but become too rigid to actuate below 0 °C. By lowering their glass transition temperature with the addition of a plasticizer, we show that the soft polymer actuators can be made to function at −40 °C. The plasticized films have been able to achieve >100% areal strain at −40°C. This helps extend the scope of dielectric elastomer actuators to demanding automotive applications.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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