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28 July 2003 Pressure-volume characteristics of dielectric elastomer diaphragms
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With the ultimate goal of constructing diaphragm-type pumps, we have measured pressure-volume characteristics of single-layer dielectric elastomers diaphragms. Circular dielectric elastomer diaphragms were prepared by biaxial stretching of 3M VHB 4905 polyacrylate, or spin casting and modest or no biaxial stretching of silicone rubber films, followed by mounting to a sealed chamber having a 3.8 cm diameter opening. Pressure-volume characteristics were measured at voltages that provided field strengths up to 80 MV/m in un-deformed VHB films and 50-75 MV/m in silicone films. The most highly pre-strained VHB diaphragms were found to have linear pressure-volume characteristics whose slopes (diaphragm compliance) depended sensitively upon applied field at higher field strengths. Compliance of unstretched silicone diaphragms was nearly independent of field strength at the fields tested, but pressure-volume characteristics shifted markedly. For both kinds of dielectric elastomers, pressure-volume work loops of significant size can be obtained for certain operating pressures. Each type of diaphragm may have advantages in certain applications.
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Alyson M. Tews, Kimberly L. Pope, and Alan J. Snyder "Pressure-volume characteristics of dielectric elastomer diaphragms", Proc. SPIE 5051, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (28 July 2003);

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