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9 April 2010 Elastomer actuators: systematic improvement in properties by use of composite materials
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Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) have attracted increasing attention over the last few years owing to their outstanding properties, e.g. their large actuation strains, high energy density, and pliability, which have opened up a wide spectrum of potential applications in fields ranging from microengineering to medical prosthetics. There is consequently a huge demand for new elastomer materials with improved properties to enhance the performance of DEAs and to overcome the limitations associated with currently available materials, such as the need for high activation voltages and the poor long-term stability. The electrostatic pressure that activates dielectric elastomers can be increased by higher permittivity of the elastomer and thus may lead to lower activation voltages. This has led us to consider composite elastomeric dielectrics based on thermoplastic elastomers or PDMS, and conductive polyaniline or ceramic (soft doped PZT) powder fillers. The potential of such materials and strategies to counter the adverse effects of increased conductivity and elastic modulus are discussed.
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Martin Molberg, Yves Leterrier, Christopher J. G. Plummer, Christiane Löwe, Dorina M. Opris, Frank Clemens, and Jan-Anders E. Månson "Elastomer actuators: systematic improvement in properties by use of composite materials", Proc. SPIE 7642, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2010, 76420M (9 April 2010);

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