0
Research Papers

Electromechanical Bistable Behavior of a Novel Dielectric Elastomer Actuator

[+] Author and Article Information
Shaoxing Qu

e-mail: squ@zju.edu.cn
Department of Engineering Mechanics,
Soft Matter Research Center (SMRC),
Zhejiang University,
38 Zheda Road,
Hangzhou 310027, China

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received August 30, 2013; final manuscript received September 20, 2013; accepted manuscript posted September 25, 2013; published online November 13, 2013. Editor: Yonggang Huang.

J. Appl. Mech 81(4), 041019 (Nov 13, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: JAM-13-1373; doi: 10.1115/1.4025530 History: Received August 30, 2013; Revised September 20, 2013; Accepted September 25, 2013

High voltage is required for the existing dielectric elastomer (DE) actuators to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy. However, maintaining high voltage on DE membranes can cause various failures, such as current leakage and electrical breakdown, which limits their practical applications, especially in small-scale devices. To overcome the above drawback of DE actuators, this paper proposes a new actuation method using DE membranes with a properly designed bistable structure. Experiment shows that the actuator only requires a high-voltage pulse to drive the structure forward and backward with electromechanical snap-through instability. The actuator can maintain its stroke when the voltage is removed. An analytical model based on continuum mechanics is developed, showing good agreement with experiment. The study may inspire the design and optimization of DE transducers.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Hirai, T., Nemoto, H., Hirai, M., and Hayashi, S., 1994, “Electrostriction of Highly Swollen Polymer Gel: Possible Application for Gel Actuator,” J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 53, pp. 79–84. [CrossRef]
Liang, C., Sun, F., and Rogers, C., 1994, “Coupled Electro-Mechanical Analysis of Adaptive Material Systems—Determination of the Actuator Power Consumption and System Energy Transfer,” J. Intell. Mater. Syst. Struct., 5, pp. 12–20. [CrossRef]
Heydt, R., Kornbluh, R., Pelrine, R., and Mason, V., 1998, “Design and Performance of an Electrostrictive-Polymer-Film Acoustic Actuator,” J. Sound. Vib., 215, pp. 297–311. [CrossRef]
Pelrine, R. E., Kornbluh, R. D., and Joseph, J. P., 1998, “Electrostriction of Polymer Dielectrics With Compliant Electrodes as a Means of Actuation,” Sens. Actuators A, 64, pp. 77–85. [CrossRef]
Zanna, J., Nguyen, H., Parneix, J., Ruffié, G., and Mauzac, M., 1999, “Dielectric Properties of Side Chain Liquid Crystalline Elastomers: Influence of Crosslinking on Side Chain Dynamics,” Eur. Phys. J. B, 10, pp. 345–351. [CrossRef]
Koh, S. J. A., Li, T., Zhou, J., Zhao, X., Hong, W., Zhu, J., and Suo, Z., 2011, “Mechanisms of Large Actuation Strain in Dielectric Elastomers,” J. Polym. Sci. B, 49, pp. 504–515. [CrossRef]
Pelrine, R., Kornbluh, R., Pei, Q., and Joseph, J., 2000, “High-Speed Electrically Actuated Elastomers With Strain Greater Than 100%,” Science, 287, pp. 836–839. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Carpi, F., De Rossi, D., and Kornbluh, R., 2008, Dielectric Elastomers as Electromechanical Transducers: Fundamentals, Materials, Devices, Models and Applications of an Emerging Electroactive Polymer Technology, Elsevier, Oxford, UK.
Anderson, I. A., Ieropoulos, I. A., McKay, T., O'Brien, B., and Melhuish, C., 2011, “Power for Robotic Artificial Muscles,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron., 16, pp. 107–111. [CrossRef]
O'Brien, B. M., Calius, E. P., Inamura, T., Xie, S. Q., and Anderson, I. A., 2010, “Dielectric Elastomer Switches for Smart Artificial Muscles,” Appl. Phys. A, 100, pp. 385–389. [CrossRef]
Zhu, J., Kollosche, M., Lu, T., Kofod, G., and Suo, Z., 2012, “Two Types of Transitions to Wrinkles in Dielectric Elastomers,” Soft Matter, 8, pp. 8840–8846. [CrossRef]
Huang, J., Li, T., Chiang Foo, C., Zhu, J., Clarke, D. R., and Suo, Z., 2012, “Giant, Voltage-Actuated Deformation of a Dielectric Elastomer Under Dead Load,” App. Phys. Lett., 100, p. 041911. [CrossRef]
Wang, H., Cai, S., Carpi, F., and Suo, Z., 2012, “Computational Model of Hydrostatically Coupled Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” ASME J. Appl. Mech., 79, p. 031008. [CrossRef]
Goulbourne, N., Mockensturm, E., and Frecker, M., 2005, “A Nonlinear Model for Dielectric Elastomer Membranes,” ASME J. Appl. Mech., 72, pp. 899–906. [CrossRef]
Qu, S., Li, K., Li, T., Jiang, H., Wang, M., and Li, Z., 2012, “Rate Dependent Stress-Stretch Relation of Dielectric Elastomers Subjected to Pure Shear Like Loading and Electric Field,” Acta Mech. Solida Sinica, 25, pp. 542–549. [CrossRef]
Li, T., Keplinger, C., Baumgartner, R., Bauer, S., Yang, W., and Suo, Z., 2012, “Giant Voltage-Induced Deformation in Dielectric Elastomers Near the Verge of Snap-Through Instability,” J. Mech. Phys. Solids, 61, pp. 611–628. [CrossRef]
Zou, Z., Li, T., Qu, S., and Yu, H., “Active Shape Control and Phase Coexistence of Dielectric Elastomer Membrane With Patterned Electrodes,” ASME J. Appl. Mech. (to be published). [CrossRef]
Liu, L., Liu, Y., Li, B., Yang, K., Li, T., and Leng, J., 2011, “Thermo-Electro-Mechanical Instability of Dielectric Elastomers,” Smart Mater. Struct., 20, p. 075004. [CrossRef]
Lotz, P., Matysek, M., Lechner, P., Hamann, M., and Schlaak, H. F., 2008, “Dielectric Elastomer Actuators Using Improved Thin Film Processing and Nanosized Particles,” Electroactive Polym. Actuators Devices, 6927, p. 692723. [CrossRef]
Hawkes, E., An, B., Benbernou, N., Tanaka, H., Kim, S., Demaine, E., Rus, D., and Wood, R., 2010, “Programmable Matter by Folding,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 107, pp. 12441–12445. [CrossRef]
Kofod, G., Paajanen, M., and Bauer, S., 2006, “Self-Organized Minimum-Energy Structures for Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” Appl. Phys. A, 85, pp. 141–143. [CrossRef]
Suo, Z., 2010, “Theory of Dielectric Elastomers,” Acta Mech. Solida Sinica, 23, pp. 549–578. [CrossRef]
Suo, Z., Zhao, X., and Greene, W. H., 2008, “A Nonlinear Field Theory of Deformable Dielectrics,” J. Mech. Phys. Solids, 56, pp. 467–486. [CrossRef]
Zhao, X., and Suo, Z., 2008, “Method to Analyze Programmable Deformation of Dielectric Elastomer Layers,” Appl. Phys. Lett., 93, p. 251902. [CrossRef]
Lu, T.-Q., and Suo, Z.-G., 2012, “Large Conversion of Energy in Dielectric Elastomers by Electromechanical Phase Transition,” Acta Mech. Solida Sinica, 28, pp. 1106–1114. [CrossRef]
Fox, J., and Goulbourne, N., 2009, “Electric Field-Induced Surface Transformations and Experimental Dynamic Characteristics of Dielectric Elastomer Membranes,” J. Mech. Phys. Solids, 57, pp. 1417–1435. [CrossRef]
Keplinger, C., Li, T., Baumgartner, R., Suo, Z., and Bauer, S., 2012, “Harnessing Snap-Through Instability in Soft Dielectrics to Achieve Giant Voltage-Triggered Deformation,” Soft Matter, 8, pp. 285–288. [CrossRef]
Wissler, M., and Mazza, E., 2007, “Electromechanical Coupling in Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” Sens. Actuators A, 138, pp. 384–393. [CrossRef]
Li, T., Qu, S., and Yang, W., 2012, “Electromechanical and Dynamic Analyses of Tunable Dielectric Elastomer Resonator,” Int. J. Solids Struct., 49, pp. 3754–3761. [CrossRef]
Camescasse, B., Fernandes, A., and Pouget, J., 2013, “Bistable Buckled Beam: Elastica Modelling and Analysis of Static Actuation,” Int. J. Solids Struct., 50, pp. 2881–2893. [CrossRef]
Gent, A., 1996, “A New Constitutive Relation for Rubber,” Rubber Chem. Technol., 69, pp. 59–61. [CrossRef]
Li, T., Qu, S., and Yang, W., 2012, “Energy Harvesting of Dielectric Elastomer Generators Concerning Inhomogeneous Fields and Viscoelastic Deformation,” J. Appl. Phys., 112, p. 034119. [CrossRef]
Koh, S. J. A., Keplinger, C., Li, T., Bauer, S., and Suo, Z., 2011, “Dielectric Elastomer Generators: How Much Energy Can Be Converted?,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron., 16, pp. 33–41. [CrossRef]

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Two DE membranes (3 M-VHB 4905) coated with compliant electrodes (carbon grease) are mounted on acrylic frames, and interacting with a bistable beam through a rigid bar: (a) schematics and (b) experimental set up

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Four states of the actuator are picked out from one operation cycle in experiment. (a) In state 1, no voltage is applied. (b) In state 2, when a voltage of 6.03 kV is applied on membrane A, the beam snap-through to the other side. (c) In state 3, with the voltage removed, the stroke d remains unchanged. (d) In state 4, when a voltage of 6.03 kV is applied on membrane B, the beam snaps back.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

The kinematics of the actuator. (a) The reference state of membranes A and B. (b) Membranes A and B are identically prestretched and fixed on the rigid frame. (c) A buckled beam is connected to membranes A and B without applying voltage (ΦA = 0, ΦB = 0). (d) When voltage is applied on membrane A (ΦA ≠ 0, ΦB = 0), the actuator deforms and reaches a new state of equilibrium.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Voltage–stroke relationships of the bistable actuator obtained from both the experiment and analytical model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Schematic diagram of the bistable beam

Tables

Errata

Discussions

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In