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Basic Characterization of a Linear Elastomer Actuator

[+] Author Affiliations
Claudia Pagano, Matteo Malosio, Irene Fassi

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Milan, Italy

Paper No. DETC2009-87285, pp. 807-812; 6 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: ASME Power Transmission and Gearing Conference; 3rd International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems; 11th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle and Tire Technologies
  • San Diego, California, USA, August 30–September 2, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4903-3 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3856-3
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Innovative types of actuators are required for several applications, especially in the field of medicine, robotics and micro-systems. In this context, Electroactive Polymers represent a promising group among all smart materials. They can change their dimensions and shape when an external voltage is applied, and their mechanical flexibility and ease of processing offer advantages over traditional electroactive materials expanding the options for different mechanical configurations. Dielectric elastomers are among the most promising EAPs for many applications, including actuators and sensors for the microfactory: they work in a dry environment, can achieve great deformations and support high voltage. They can be represented by a parallel plate capacitor: under an electric field the elastomer is squeezed in the thickness causing expansion in the transverse direction. Dielectric EAP actuators require large electric fields (hundreds of kV/mm) but can produce very large strain (up to 400%). Due to their unique properties and potential applications, in this paper the study of the electromechanical behaviour of a dielectric elastomer and a possible application related with the microfabrication of hybrid microsystem is presented.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Elastomers , Actuators



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