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An Experimental Assessment of the Thermo-Elastic Response in Acrylic Elastomers and Natural Rubbers for Application on Electroactive Polymer Transducers

[+] Author Affiliations
Giovanni Berselli, Marcello Pellicciari

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Rocco Vertechy, Marco Fontana

Scuola Superiore SantAnna, Pisa, Italy

Paper No. SMASIS2014-7604, pp. V001T03A027; 8 pages
  • ASME 2014 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 1: Development and Characterization of Multifunctional Materials; Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems; Structural Health Monitoring; Keynote Presentation
  • Newport, Rhode Island, USA, September 8–10, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4614-8
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Dielectric Elastomers (DEs) are deformable dielectrics, which are currently used as active materials in mechatronic transducers, such as actuators, sensors and generators. Nonetheless, at the present state of the art, the industrial exploitation of DE-based devices is still hampered by the irregular electro-mechanical behavior of the employed materials, also due to the unpredictable effects of environmental changes in real world applications. In many cases, DE transducers are still developed via trial-and-error procedures rather than through a well-structured design practice, one reason being the lack of experimental data along with reliable constitutive parameters of many potential DE materials.

Therefore, in order to provide the practicing engineer with some essential information, an open-access database for DE materials has been recently created and presented in [1]. Following the same direction, this paper addresses the temperature effect on the visco-hyperelastic behavior of two DE candidates, namely a natural rubber (ZRUNEK A1040) and a well-known acrylic elastomer (3M VHB 4905). Measurements are performed on pure shear specimens placed in a climactic chamber. Experimental stress-strain curves are then provided, which makes it possible to predict hyperelasticity, plasticity, viscosity, and Mullins effect as function of the environmental temperature. Properties of these commercial elastomeric membranes are finally entered in the database and made available to the research community.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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